Comedy blog

Ria Lina: Edinburgh Fringe 2015 interview

Ria Lina

Ria Lia has been on the international comedy scene for 14 years, her last Edinburgh show ‘School of Reason’ was nominated for the Amused Moose Laughter Awards. In this year’s show Taboo raider she’s taking on racism, sexism and discrimination, but still found time to answer our baked potato question…


Hello. How are you today?

I’m fine, thank you. And you?

We are terrific. Are you ready for another month of Edinburgh Fringe action?

Yes and No.

Yes, in the way that one is ready for semi-major dental surgery. The type that is serious enough they shoot up every corner of your mouth till your eyeballs are numb, but not so serious that they send you home with antibiotics. That horrible in-between of pain and suffering without the time-off-work reward.

No, in the way that: I’m not ready.

At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?

Ha! Great question. Every year I learn a little more how to fill the blurb with quotes and mentions of how great my show the year before was and not actually describe the current show. Luckily for me, this year the show is explained fairly well by the title, so the blurb is just bonus. I also put a bit in the blurb about how the show is “not for the faint of humour”, so if you show up and don’t find it funny, it’s your fault for not having a sense of humour.

What are your tips for getting people to see your show?

I don’t understand what you’re asking. Are you asking me to share my marketing secrets? Well, that would be giving something away wouldn’t it. If they work (of course they do) I wouldn’t want you to know because someone reading this would use them against me and steal my audience. But if they don’t work then I won’t have an audience and you’ll all know about it and laugh at me. I don’t like my options.

(But if you like comedy with a message come see my show. If you want an hour that you don’t have to think about afterwards, still come see my show, but please don’t snore)

Is there anyone in particular you’d like to see in your audience?

We’re talking about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which has an average audience size of 6? 5? Definitely less than 10. So I would love to see at least 10 people in my show everyday. That would be wonderful. And I love a wide range of folks. While it is a massive ego boost to preach to the converted, that isn’t the point of this show. The point is to make you laugh, think, and possibly wee yourself a little when you gasp-then-laugh-then-think-about-what-you-just-laughed-at. So if you like that kind of comedy, I’d love to see you in my show. Oh, and Steven Spielberg.

Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?

I am sharing with my lovely husband and 3 wonderful children. So of course they will make sure I don’t get enough sleep, watch every liquid calorie I drink, and make me feel guilty every time I leave the house for abandoning them during their school holidays to go to ‘work’. Where ‘work’ costs Mummy close to £5,000. But the hugs are great. I totally recommend making your own people that give you hugs whenever you want them.

Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?

Charity shops [We agree! try Stockbridge for your best selection – Ed]. The Scottish are the perfect blend of thrifty and generous and it makes for some wonderful finds in the shops. Every year I tell myself I’m gonna come up the next year with a van and drive a major vintage haul home, but so far I’ve managed to control myself.

What’s your topping at The Baked Potato Shop on Cockburn Street?

I’m a tuna/mayo/cheese girl myself. With coleslaw or salad if you can get it (although in Scotland…), but at Cockburn street: Avocado or Egg Salad. Can’t beat a protein boost.

Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.

Normally with this much freedom I would draw. A sweeping landscape, or a forlorn figure staring in at the last muffin in a closed bakery shop window. Something really inspired by and for Hallmark. But as I only have words at my disposal I will pass on the wisdom I know I would have learned at Drama school if my parents hadn’t insisted I read a degree in Experimental Pathology (to have something to “fall back on”):

“Be the Tree”


Ria Lina: Taboo Raider
The Stand Comedy Club 2
5, 7-16, 18-30 August,  6pm
£6 – £8

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