Caro Meets Comedy Interview

Tez Ilyas: Tez Talks

By | Published on Thursday 28 January 2016

tezilyasq&a

Up and coming comedian Tez Ilyas charmed the Edinburgh Festival comedy goers in the summer with his show, ‘Tez Talks’, which draws on his experiences as a British Muslim. Given all the praise I’ve heard for this set, I think it’s safe to say it will be worth seeing.
To find out more about the show, I put a few quick questions to Tez, ahead of his upcoming run at the Soho Theatre.

CM: What’s the show about? Do you address a particular theme or topics in it?
TI: The show is a very satirical take on the current narrative around Muslims and Islam in Britain. It takes the audience on a journey where they’re forced to empathise with British Muslims.

CM: How would you describe your style of comedy, or performance?
TI: I’ve been described as silly, smart and subversive, which I was very happy with.

CM: When you discuss your cultural/religious background, is it with the intention to educate and inform? Or are you just trying to be funny…?
TI: I’m just trying to be funny, if the audience get something more out of it, then great.

CM: You had a successful time with the show up in Edinburgh in the summer. How did you like the festival? Will you go back?
TI: The Festival is great. I love Edinburgh it’s such a beautiful city, and the Festival is such a wonderful experience. It’s like a four-week long freshers week for performers.

CM: Has the show changed much since the summer performances?
TI: Not very much. It’s probably 95% the same show.

CM: What made you want to do stand-up? Did you always want to be a performer?
TI: I have no background in the performing arts, in fact, I haven’t done drama since I was fourteen. I got into comedy by accident when googling a creative writing course, but I’m so glad it happened.

CM: How did you get into comedy? Where did it all begin?
TI: I did a short stand-up workshop which gave me some tools to get started. I did my first gig in the summer of 2010 in the upstairs of a pub in Piccadilly Circus, a lot of friends were there to support, it was so cringey.

CM: Do you think you will stick with stand-up, or is there other stuff you want to do?
TI: I definitely plan to keep doing stand-up, but I am also exploring other opportunities on radio and TV which are exciting.

CM: What’s next for you, short-term and long term?
TI: Well I’m really looking forward to the Soho shows, but I also have a couple of TV things coming out next month, and then I’m taking a brand new show to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer.

Tez Ilyas performs ‘Tez Talks’ at Soho Theatre from 3-6 Feb. See this page here for for more info and to book.

LINKS: sohotheatre.com | tezilyas.com | twitter.com/tezilyas

Photo: Steve Ullathorne



READ MORE ABOUT: |