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I TALK TO Loyiso Gola

"Edinburgh is a good way to check if you've still got."

He's been nominated twice for an Emmy and South African comedian Loyiso Gola is returning to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe after a year away and is shining the spotlight on pop culture.

During our chat, Loyiso talks more about what audiences can expect, why he prefers hour-long sets and reveals his favourite place to relax in Edinburgh.

You took a year out from the Fringe in 2018 but now you're back with your third show. How much does Edinburgh mean to you?

I just like the festival. Edinburgh is a good way to check if you've still got it and it gets you in the habit of writing a new show. Sometimes you write a new show but you do it in isolation so Edinburgh is a good way to check if your show is worth anything.

As soon as I came out of high school I became aware of it. I didn't know how big it was in terms of scale, I was just aware that it was there. For me, I like the gruelling conditions of creating, I thrive off it.

What can people expect from your show this year?

The show is mostly about pop culture and how us as human beings treat each other and how we understand love, how we use the internet and how we also buy into a lot of movements and ideas that we haven't really thought of. We're just born into them without really knowing what it means.

It's a very philosophical show compared to my last one which was all about myself. This one is still about myself but it's about my philosophy and how I see the world and what I'm thinking at this particular moment. I'm almost like a philosopher in the show. There are a lot of things happening in the world but our lives are so busy that we don't think about what's happening.

How long have you been working on the show for?

The thinking behind the show has been about a year but in terms of putting the show together, the last six months. I've been feeling this way about the issues at hand for the last two years.

Do you enjoy having that hour to fill?

Yeah, it's way better than talking for ten minutes. I mean, ten minutes is great for a headline set, but an hour is good because you get to articulate a lot more.

What are you most looking forward to about Edinburgh this year?

For me it's about seeing all the other acts that you haven't seen in a year. Some people you only ever see at the festival. The person I really want to see this year is Eddie Izzard.

Where's your favourite place to relax in Edinburgh?

There's a place called The Abattoir which is a private bar where comics hang out. That's the one place I usually go and hang out.

Finally, how would you sum up this year's show in just five words?

Contemporary take on pop culture.

Loyiso Gola: Pop Culture runs from 31st July - 26th August (not 13th) at 7pm at the Pleasance Dome (10 Dome). Book tickets here.


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