Ria Lina Q&A


Edinburgh, the Fringe, why bother?

I don’t think I understand the question. Do you mean why take part in the largest arts festival in the world? Or why commune with millions of people in a creative and inspiring fashion? Or did you mean, why spend a month living in the most fascinatingly complex city of multi-layered Harry Potter wonderment? I think I need you to clarify for me…

What have been the nuggets of inspiration behind your show this year?

Hmm. I wasn’t so much inspired as scared into it. I had a near-miss and it made me realise how unprepared I am for the unexpected. Which is ridiculous in itself, but it’s a thing we do in our society so I thought I should get through the check-list. I may or may not do it as well as other more put-together people as the show will reveal.

Stand-out Fringe moment to date?

Having a show commissioned by Radio 4. My 2014 show, School of Riason, was aired July 7th this year, so it’s available on iPlayer until August 7th. Have a listen, if you like my style, come see my new show!

When you wished a hole had opened up in the ground and swallowed you up?

Ooh, tricky question. I try not to regret anything, and if something does happen I am really good at forgetting that it did so it doesn’t haunt me in my dreams. I think the worst thing is being onstage and knowing that someone is unhappy about something; but because you are mid flow and have an audience to entertain you can’t just stop and find out what’s wrong. Well, you can, but you run the risk of them ruining the gig by saying something like “You’re offensive, you shouldn’t joke about kittens with clothes on!” or “You’re really racist for an Asian”. You know, something that would make the whole room go “Oh! Good point we didn’t see how wrong that kitten stuff was till you pointed out she was Asian…” so those are the times I am really uncomfortable.

(Afterwards you race offstage and find out they were UKIP voters or vegans or something and then you don’t feel so bad.)

(Not that I have anything against vegans, but kittens in clothes are CUTE I don’t care who you are or what you don’t eat. NEWSFLASH: I don’t eat kittens either).

Your unsung heroes in the industry at current?

I think there are so many comics knocking on the glass ceiling right now like John Hastings or Christian Shulte-Loh just waiting for the box they tick to be emptied of the current box-ticker. I look forward to the day when it’s not about boxes, or at least, when the boxes get bigger, cause we’re all getting cricks in our necks from all this knocking.

Three shows you must see this Fringe? 

I love the wide variety of choice available, so I would recommend going to see one free show (picked randomly), and one show from 2 sections of the programme that you’ve never gone to see before like spoken word, or dance or cabaret. And if you find yourself being the only person in the audience then appreciate the experience because I know from experience that the cast of the show are really grateful that you’re there.

The one person you’d love to see your show and why?

The one with the influence to get the other 2,000 tickets sold. No just kidding. But seriously, just one person? I think, to be frank, that it would have to be that one person who really connects with the show and remembers it periodically time and again over the next few years. It would be really nice if that person also was the head of NBC or Comedy Central, but I’ll settle for the sentimental connection.

The reason why one should come and see your show?

If you know me, you know you will have a good time. And if you don’t know me – then you should try something new. I guarantee you won’t get your money back.

The one thing in Edinburgh you must do? 

Climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat at dawn. No wait, do a vault tour at night. Hang on, go to the tattoo at the Castle. Argh, just one thing?

Ah sorry, you’re dead. But least you can have that dinner party you’ve always wanted. Who are you inviting? 

That’s easy. Donald Trump, Tony Blair and Kim Jong Un. I’d have a terrible time, but they’d have to die just to join me at the table. You’re welcome world.

Ria Lina: Dear Daughter, Gilded Balloon Teviot 21.15 (22.15) 3 – 29 Aug

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