Fringe interview: Imran Yusuf

Imran Yusuf’s Saint, Sinner, Sufi is a show for bleeding heart liberals and angry disenfranchised victims.

AAA caught up with Imran ahead of his visit to Edinburgh.

This isn’t your first time at the Fringe…

No, been up plenty of times but this is my fourth solo show.

Tell us a bit about the show you’re in this year?

It’s a kind of coming of middle age show, where I have learned why life does indeed begin at 40 (although I’m 38 and ahead of the curve). My new show is called “Saint, Sinner, Sufi” to illustrate the three stages of my life. When I was younger, I thought of myself as somewhat saintly because I affiliated myself to religion as my moral claim over others who were not like me. But as I got older and life kicks your arse, you fall from that self-placed pedestal and end up becoming a lot like those you once judged but don’t feel bad about it because the pain of failure excuses you in your own mind. Finally “Sufi” is a word to signify the middle way between the two extremes of considering one a saint or a sinner. So the show is essentially about the schtick I’ve used in my career and coming of age to own my own faults and really live life with this cumulative wisdom.

How much work has gone into getting it ready for Edinburgh?

Not enough and also a lifetime’s worth. Getting it written down and performing it is the consequence of being able to articulate a lifetime’s worth of experience.

Are you nervous ahead of your opening night?

I choose not to be. No point worrying about what you can’t control. All I can do is my best, the rest is in heaven’s hands.

There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

All I can do is build it, then they will come. The reason to come see my show is in the quality of the show itself and not in any reasoning I can offer, other than I really care about what I’m saying in this show for the sake of sharing my thoughts and feelings as a human being in this grand mystery known as life.

Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

Gamarjobat –  I love them, they are so finely crafted and full of an unadulterated joy. Phill Ellis, who is quite possibly the most naturally funny man I’ve ever met.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

See above.

What are you planning to do on your days off?

Watch other shows, go to the gym and wander around in the festival letting destiny bring me to whatever is next.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

You become who you judge. Don’t be a bell end.

IMRAN YUSUF: Saint, Sinner, Sufi (5:30pm, The Stand New Town Theatre), www.edfringe.com

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