Edinburgh Fringe Review: Yianni

yianni

Dram House

***

You certainly can't fault Yianni Agisilaou for lack of ambition and self-belief. In keeping with his show's title Think Big he is not only doing this run on the Free Fringe but he has also booked the 1200-seater Edinburgh International Conference Centre for a one-of gig on August 25. Ticket sales are moving gently rather than flying out of the door for the latter one, but if you want to support someone for trying to live the dream you could do a lot worse than stump up.

His philosophy is fairly back-of-a-fag-packet simple. If you don't try something it may never happen for you. You have to stop saying "No" to everything and being negative otherwise, as he explains in Think Big with the aid of occasional powerpoint presentation, you will become a total "Cant". The amiable comedian goes back to his childhood roots to explore his own credo and he cleverly discusses how you can see a person's future personality from the way they play pass-the-parcel – do they grab it and hold onto it, pass it or rip the paper off immediately.

Agisilaou is a geeky guy with a fondness for numbers and statistics but, for better or worse, he never quite tips over into total dorkdom. Instead he concentrates on easy-going stories about himself, about being a comedian and why one shouldn't be jealous of success. The message is one of total positivity, sensibly stopping short of this becoming a motivational lecture and instead concentrating on gags. It is not laugh a minute but Yianni's endearingly friendly but never laddish personality is strong enough to keep you interested.

There is a temptation to say that Think Big is a good show for a free show, but this would be a good show even if you have to pay for it. And it would be nice if some of the people in the audience the day I saw it who had clearly enjoyed it had not escaped out of the back door to avoid putting money in the collection jar at the front. Maybe some of those people will be reading this and will decide that Yianni is worth the ticket price and will overcome their sort-hands-long-pockets syndrome by getting down to the EICC on Sunday, which will be more of a greatest hits set – you can buy your tickets for that gig here.

 

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