Konstantin Kisin, who made international headlines by refusing to sign a ‘safe space’ contract for a university gig, offers a fiercely intelligent, uncompromising look at identity, freedom of expression and ‘wokeness’ in his debut hour at the Fringe. Informed by his experiences of growing up in the Soviet Union, which his grandfather fled to avoid state censorship, Kisin dives head-first into the heated debate about the limits of free expression and the role of political correctness, safe spaces and trigger warnings in shaping British society. Konstantin went into more depth with The Fountain about his show.
TF: What is the premise of your show?
The show is called Orwell That Ends Well and is based on my experience of accidentally creating a media storm when I refused to sign a “behavioural agreement form” to perform comedy at a London university.
TF: What drove the project, where did your influences lie?
I have felt for a long time that we are living in a society that increasingly reminds me of the one I grew up in – the Soviet Union – where we all knew which opinions were supposed to be kept private because expressing them publicly would get you in trouble.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
This is my debut hour so not much in the way of tips, I’m afraid!
TF: Is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
I lived in Edinburgh for many years so the main thing I want to see when I’m there is old friends.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond your show?
I’d love to build up an audience of people who like my comedy and perform to them regularly.
You can see Orwell That Ends Well at Wee Room, Gilded Balloon from 31st July – 26th August (Not 13th) at 19:00. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com