Fringe: Ria Lina interview

Ria Lina’s 2014 show School of Riason received award nominations and a commission for BBC Radio 4. This year, Ria’s aiming for Comedy Central as she returns with her new show looking at modern taboos such as racism, sexism and discrimination.
AAA caught up with Ria earlier this week for a chat about her new show and more.

  • How has your Fringe been so far?

Up and down. But then that is the nature of the city. You walk up a hill to find you’re in a basement. As for the Festival I can’t complain – it’s been good to me. I’ve been able to perform every day to people who haven’t thrown anything at me.

  • Tell us a bit about the show you’re in?

My solo show, Taboo Raider, is exactly that. I talk about taboos (in general) and then some specific ones. I’m hoping to make them less taboo because I don’t think not talking about an issue is the best way to solve it. I also look at political correctness and whether or not it’s helping or hindering things. All wrapped up in jokes that I’ve been told I get away with, but not everybody could. Must be my cheeky smile.


  • What’s the audience reaction been so far?

Great! I’ve had wonderful feedback, and families bringing their teenagers along because they need to hear it (‘and they won’t listen to us’). I’ve had some lovely responses on Twitter of people getting in touch about how the show struck a chord with them.

  • There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

I fully believe a Fringe trip isn’t complete until you’ve seen something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. I know there are a lot of shows to choose from but I definitely am something different, a funny show that makes you think at the end of it, so make me your ‘something new’. Every year I have people coming back who say they took a punt on me and enjoyed me so much they made me their ‘something old’ the following year.
Or is that weddings?

  • Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

There are SO many good shows. And so many I can’t get to see myself. So I would ask that you please try and see at least one other show that clashes with mine and let me know how it is? Perhaps tweet me after? Also, please go and take a punt on someone really new to performing. We were all there once and without audience being generous we wouldn’t have gotten to where we are today. So for that, we all thank you.

  • What’s on your hit list to see?

I love seeing things that are never the same twice. So shows such as Set List, or a mixed-bill cabaret. But I also love seeing circus and shows that are clearly the result of a lot of hard work and dedication physically and mentally (I get the mental struggle, but I must confess, I could do my show sitting down, it isn’t quite the same thing).


  • What do you like to do in Edinburgh on your day off?

Sleep…? Am I allowed to say that? I also plan to see things I can’t normally see and if the weather is good, hit Arthur’s Seat. In reality… sleeeeeep…

  • Can you recommend a bar or restaurant in Edinburgh?

I love Bonsai on West Richmond Street. It’s a lovely little hole in the wall with great quality, well priced, japanese food. I also like getting a sandwich from the place next door to my venue (Stand 2) on North St. Andrews Street. I’m genuinely not sure of the name, but it’s the little cafe to the left as you look at the steps leading up to Stand 2. Great service, and good menu, which makes up for the bread being ever so slightly stale by the end of the day because they leave it out in bins all day.

  • What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen this year? 

I saw a circus show at the Circus Hub called Trash Test Dummies and the theme of their show was…rubbish. As in trash, litter, wheelie bins. It was great fun for the kids, but the best bit, was at the end of the show, they invited the kids to come on stage… and clean it all up. Genius.


Ria Lina: Taboo Raider, The Stand Comedy Club 2 (Venue 5b), until August 30, 6pm, £8 (£7), 0131-226 0000,