Tez Ilyas: Teztify
- Rowena McIntosh
- 8 August 2017
A boisterous and bigot-baiting hour
There's no sheepish shuffle onto the stage for Tez Ilyas. Bounding into the space, dishing out the double high-fives and christening his audience 'Tezpians', he's a confident comedian keen to get started. Having recently moved from London back to his home in the North, Ilyas has spent more time around his family and racism, both of which drive the narrative of Teztify.
Many people are blasted in his set: racists, inhumane chicken farmers, and posh people who serve balsamic vinegar at parties. Yet his discussion is more complex than simply reaffirming that bigots are bad, as he turns on apathy and armchair liberals.
Interspersed throughout his hour are a series of projected images and videos. While the opening video of his young nephew proves that he is as cute as Ilyas says, later montages of smartphones and social media icons are more of a distraction to his well-argued point than an aid and a comparison between Muslims and chickens seems laboured.
His jokes about being Northern and working class are some of the biggest hitters, and this well-crafted show throws in plenty of links back to earlier jokes when the topics get serious. A comprehensive hour which attests that it's punk to be Muslim.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 27 Aug (not 16), 8.30pm, £10--£12 (£9--£11).