After a hugely successful and critically acclaimed stand-up debut, Eshaan Akbar is back with his second show in Edinburgh, Prophet Like It Hot, for the month of August at the Gilded Balloon.
Eshaan Spoke with The Fountain about his influences for his humour and what we can expect this year, aa well as throwing in some sound advice for first-time Fringe performers.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Yes, it’s very exciting. My debut last year went better than I could have imagined – I sold out the entire run and this year, I’m in a bigger room with a brand new show. I’m excited to see what might happen!
TF: The show certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
The premise, quite simply, is that I set out it’s possible (and okay!) to make jokes about Islam. I take a copy of the Qur’An on stage to help demystify some myths people have about the religion, talk about elements of the book I find ridiculous/funny and argue that despite us becoming more atheistic as a society, there is still a place for faith in modern society.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
My own journey from devout Muslim to no longer practising is a huge influence. But, perhaps bigger than that, is the discourse around Islam and Muslims at the moment. From Donald Trump’s “Muslim Ban” through to the spate of terror attacks that have taken place on British soil and the global refugee crisis, being Muslim at the moment is very fraught.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
For first-time performers, my main advice would be to treat the weeks in Edinburgh as close to your “normal week” outside of it as much as possible. If you normally live for the weekend, try to stay close to that in Edinburgh, it’s very easy to forget which day it is. Oh, and try to eat porridge every day.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond The Fringe?
To get funnier and make the most of opportunities that come my way. I’m working on a couple of sitcoms and a novel too – so, hopefully, they will take me to the next level!
Photo courtesy of Steve Ullathorne
Eshaan Akbar: Prophet Like It Hot, Gilded Balloon – Balcony, 2.45pm, 4th – 26th August (except 15th)