Tez Ilyas: Made in Britain
- Craig Naples
- 23 August 2016
This article is from 2016
Rapid-fire riffing on what it means to be a modern British Pakistani
A master of undercutting expectation and giving the audience just enough rope, Tez Ilyas is a self-described cheeky narcissist, who explores the assertion that Muslims won't integrate with British culture. From an initially unpromising opening about the awkwardness of asking for a 'certain record' by Kanye West and Jay Z, he explodes into life, riffing on the tensions of being a British Pakistani.
In a relentless hour, its many highlights include a rant about why calling him 'my Indian friend' is a big mistake, and his daring responses to last year's atrocities in Paris. His 'Paklife' section suffers a little from being so rapidly delivered that the audience is processing one gag when he's moved on to the next. Otherwise, this is a fine show that never lags, particularly at the 45-minute mark where audiences can traditionally begin to wilt; here, he pulls out his big game-show closer to talk about arranged marriage.
Addressing the weirdness of the voice casting in his favourite Disney film, The Jungle Book, leads him to Benedict Cumberbatch's comments on 'coloured' actors and what this could mean for his own future as a Doctor, although not the kind his mother expects. Go on, BBC, he's already got the Converse.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 28 Aug, 5.30pm, £10–£12 (£8–£10).