Edinburgh Fringe: Aatif Nawaz interview

Award-winning comedian Aatif Nawaz follows up his acclaimed Muslims Do it 5 Times a Day show with a loud and hilarious assault on irresponsible journalism. AAA caught up with Aatif for a chat.

Is this your first time at the Fringe?

This will be my second year. I only want to come to the Fringe with a brand new show, something new to say. I do love the Fringe show. So that’s ample motivation to write all year long and build comedy as prolifically as one can.

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

It’s a stand-up comedy show called ‘AATIFicial Intelligence’. The follow-up to Muslims Do It 5 Times A Day. Mots of my comedy is motivated by social change. This year, I’m being more introspective. It’s more about the way I deal with life, my perspective on what’s happening and the bizarre outlets in the media I’ve been give to express myself.

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

A lot. A lot a lot. A lot of comics I know can ‘work it out on stage’. I really have to spend a lot of time thinking. Just making sense of my thoughts. And then translating them and articulating them in a way thats intelligible and hopefully funny. Having said that, I’m very excited about what I have. I think people will see something different from me. A darker side to my life and existence.

Are you nervous ahead of your opening night?

A little. But mostly just excited. It’s such a privilege to put something out here…as an artist. To have the chance to express myself through the medium of comedy. It’s a beautiful feeling.

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

It’s the only show that can create a narrative featuring Pokenom Go, Sadiq Khan – the Mayor of London, the all-female Ghostbusters line-up and Channel 4’s EPG. You ain’t getting that anywhere else guys. Plus – if you liked Muslims Do It 5 Times A Day…you’ll hopefully enjoy the transition with me.

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

Last year I went to see a show called ‘Puppet Fiction’ like six times. It was phenomenal. I’m really excited that it’s in the same venue as me this year. A must watch for fans of the movie Pulp Fiction. Also, there are some fantastic stand-up comics I cant wait to see. Tez Ilyas, Kate Lucas, Evelyn Mok, Dylan Gott, Harriet Kemsley, Jamalli Maddix, Bilal Zafar, Ahir Shah, Jay Islaam…just to name a few.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

All of the above. But I won’t hit any of them. I’m a pacifist.

What are you planning to do on your days off?

I have no days off. But in the hours between performing, I’m gonna try and catch as much of the England vs Pakistan Test Series as I can. I’m a lifelong fan of Pakistani cricket.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

Brutal introspection and an honest exploration of how we think.

Aatif Nawaz Aatificial Intelligence, Newsroom, 8.45pm, www.edfringe.com

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