Yianni Agisilaou talks about the way humanity is changing technology at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Name: Yianni Agisilaou
Name of Edinburgh show: I, Human
Venue: Pleasance Dome – 10Dome
Performance time: 9:40pm
Show length: 60 minutes
Ticket price: £6 previews, £9 concession, £10 full price
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I’ve been a professional stand-up comedian for almost 15 years. Before that, I did sketch comedy and Impro, and before that I used the video camera my dad bought off the back of a truck to make home movies with a ragtag collection of neighbourhood kids. Since then I’ve performed stand-up comedy in 45 countries which still kind of staggers me when I think about it.
Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
It’s about humanity. And technology. The way humanity is changing technology. And the way technology is changing humanity. Whether Facebook is listening in to you. Whether you should cover your webcam up. Whether you’ll have a job left in 20 years time. And whether your kids might wanna marry a robot. Heady times.
How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I’ve performed this show at festivals in Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, and Sydney. As always I’ll tweak it for UK crowds. As for relevance, it‘s an hour of comedy about things you already use, things you will soon use and things you can’t even imagine using yet but will live to use. I hope that means it’s relevant.
Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Ah, the things I’ve seen. I’ve seen people become victims of their own inflated expectations, egos, their poor choices regarding intoxicants, sleep and sexual partners. Obviously, when I say “people“, I mean ‘me in previous years’. So my top tip is avoid my mistakes and don’t be a bampot! On a more positive note, it is the world’s best arts festival by a wide margin. Hold that in your mind as you walk about and you cannae help but have a bonnie time.
What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I was doing a university gig back when I was young enough to do those. I mean I’m still young enough to do them, but they tend to book people closer to university age to do them. I leant back to coolly lean on the wall that I was sure was behind the stage curtain. Turns out, no wall! Which left me at the whim of gravity and doing my best impression of Del boy falling through the bar. Hmmm, maybe THAT’S why I don’t get booked for them anymore.
Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Mark Watson; he has big ideas and inspirationally executes on them in such wonderful ways. And Robin Ince; he’s a relentless artist who takes things that interest him and transmogrifies them into his own market niche.
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Yes. Quite presciently considering my show this year, it’s “Make sure the technology is set up properly, or it can all go terribly wrong.”
What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Mark Watson, John Luke Roberts, Matt Price and Laura Lexx. Plus a bunch of stuff I don’t even know exists yet.
Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Because I know a shed load about technology, robotics, sex robots and A.I. and I’ve packaged it up into something that’s funny, very relevant and illuminating. Oh, AND every night, I hoodwink a 20-year-old in the audience into thinking of themselves as a 70 year old. Come for that alone.
Yianni Agisilaou: I, Human – COMEDY
Pleasance 10 Dome
August 1st – 26th (not 14th)