Drawing: Ria Lina in Taboo Raider

ria lina

Comedian, musician, and writer Ria Lina previewed her new show Taboo Raider at the Museum of Comedy in the Leicester Square Theatre before taking it to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival next month. A regular in stand up for the past 14 years both in the UK and internationally, The Guardian said, “I have no doubt she will hold her own so easily that she’ll have a hand free to hold someone else’s too.” Her shows combine stand up comedy and song.

At last years’s festival Ria’s show School of Riason received award nominations and plaudits alike and a commission for BBC Radio 4. A mother of three, Ria based the comedy routine on home schooling her children.

Taboo Raider looks at modern taboos – racism, sexism and discrimination – “not for the faint of humour” warned the show’s publicity material.

With a BSc in Experimental Pathology from St Andrews University, a Masters in Forensic Science and a PhD in Viral Bioinformatics from UCL… it owudld be fair to say Ria’s Creative juices are fuelled by potent cerebral content.

Did I think I’d be a stand up comic? No, I kinda fell into that but it’s been a surprisingly good fit” Ria said in a recent interview with The New Current.

When asked what she wants her audiences to take away from her shows she says “hopefully buy the CD”. Ria signed this sketch at the Leicester Square Theatre. You can vote for Ria’s Taboo Raider poster in the Edinburgh Comedy Poster Awards, or if you’re lucky enough to be in Edinburgh, catch the show.

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Drawing: Andrew Rothney, Jamie Sives and James McArdle in The James Plays

The James Plays

The James Plays – James I, James II are a thrilling trilogy of history plays by award-winning Rona Munro. They previewed at this year’s Edinburgh Festival before a limited run in repertory at The National Theatre in London, finishing on the 29th October.

James McArdle (James I)  Andrew Rothney (James II) and Jamie Sives (James III) play the lead roles, bringing to life three generations of Stewart Kings who ruled Scotland in the tumultuous 15th Century.

The Daily Telegraph gave the production 5 stars, calling them, “astonishing… could be the finest history plays ever penned.”

Drawing: Ryan The Bisexual Lion

Ryan the bisexual lion

Ryan The Bisexual Lion is the star of the smash hit solo stand-up show called Sex with Animals. He is the altered-ego of American creator and writer Ryan Good, a longtime member of the Neo-Futurists experimental theatre company.

The title is a bit of a misdirection, but “definitely grabs people’s attentions,” says Ryan. “It’s a show folks – not a lot a call to action! Relax”. He assures everyone that no animals are harmed or pleasured in the making of his show. The idea was sparked after his trip to the Galapagos Islands and the tale of Lonesome George, the last Pinta Island tortoise who was given one last try to carry on his subspecies, but “at the ultimate moment, nothing materialised.”

He uses the animal anecdotes, from gay penguins and monogamous albatrosses, to boobies (the rare blue-footed Ecuadorian bird) to explore relationship experiences where gender, sexuality and dating is becoming in Ryan’s words, “increasingly fluid”. No stone is left un-humped!

His real aim is to put a human face on the topics with details about his own unconventional sex life… wearing an extremely tight, shiny, lion leotard.

“Lions are easily the most ferocious badass creatures out there and the males in particular scurry off into the forest and have 48 hour parties where they play with each other sexually”. Ryan says it’s a chance for people to work out what level of monogamy they should be at.

The show is an expedition through the often hilarious and occasionally profound sexual habits of the animal kingdom. The poster states that it is “Eddie Izzard meets David Attenborough on Grindr”. Ryan returned this year to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after a sell out run in 2013. He won the Adelaide Fringe Best Comedy Award earlier this year and had a three week residency at Islington’s Hope Theatre in London before arriving back in the Scottish capital, where he signed this sketch. Rarrrrrrr!