News clips of recent tragic events caused by extremists in Britain might not seem like the funniest way to open a comedy show, but Tez Ilyas pulls it off. Never one to shy away from his Muslim identity and the negative perception currently being associated with this, Ilyas goes straight to the heart to open up an important cultural dialogue – all while keeping the jokes rolling.
Despite the poignant opening, Teztify is not bogged down by its political and affectual subject matters. Ilyas’ style is charming and wholesome, using domestic anecdotes to tie his show together whilst still providing thought provoking content. The audience is invited to look at class structure, capitalism, science, religion, cock-porn and chickens with hilarious conclusions. Ilyas’ use of perfectly timed visuals aid his almost seamless performance. He maintains comedic professionalism throughout his show whilst supplying the audience with his trademark wit and cheek.
Like his opening, Ilyas concludes the show on an equally to-the-bone note about where society could be heading if we are not careful. This ending would leave his audience with a knot in their stomach if not for his final hoorah which sees Ilyas encourage his audience to put two fingers up to the establishment in a delightfully punk fashion that makes you want to shout ‘Teztify!’.
In his own words, Tez Ilyas offers up ‘not quite award winning comedy’ but that being said, Teztify is a well balanced, smooth and funny show which will make you laugh out loud and get you thinking. This is a socially important comedy show for a tumultuous 2017.
Words: Ryan Johnson
Picture: Steve Ullathorne
Tez Ilyas: Teztify, Pleasance Courtyard, Aug 6 – 27 (not 16th), 8.30pm