Photo of Ria Lina

Ria Lina: Riawakening
Huntingdon Hall, Worcester – 30th May 2024

The tired cliché insists female comediennes only talk about the female condition. Well, what if the female stand-up in question genuinely has some acute observations on sex, dating, childbirth, motherhood and experienced racism – worth sharing? Well, the proceedings started politely enough…

“What a lovely Church and what a pleasure it is to perform here.”

Ria Lina is a mixed-heritage comedian and highly-qualified scientist who has ensured her sociological experiments have reached conclusive comedic findings. Of course, the first part of the evening was a getting to know you session, with audience life stories forming further punchlines throughout the evening. The Scottish gent whose throwaway declaration that Scotland “was’nae anee good at anythin’” produced a one liner from the fearless Lina that I have repeated three times since.

Miss Lina has a cavalier attitude towards sex and the matter of fact approach made the middle-aged man next to me stiffen. Lina loves to provoke & shock and at times the audience was not quite ready for certain images. The line about encouraging her kid’s homosexuality drew a perceptible intake from my neighbouring moral barometer; there was a time delay with the accompanying nervous laughter around us.

Following her admittance that she only married her, now ex-husband, of 18 years due to just wanting to “get it out of the way” as a result of social pressure…ensured the D*ily M*il readers in the room had something to discuss on the way home.

The routine reflecting Lin’s experience of childbirth was not the sanitised and quixotic version we may be familiar with. The adjectives and imagery were nearly as mercurial as the accompanying physical performance. Such a dramatic performance, that even Lib Dems Ed Davey would have vetoed it, as being too theatrical for his election campaign. For Ria Lina it was as easy as falling off a paddle board. The laughter rising up, sounded very gender specific to my mind.

Lina’s racial ethnicity – she is part Filipino and part German – was also placed under the microscope for forensic dissection. Her daughter’s blonde curls at odds with her immediate family’s “orange skin” allowed the comedienne to research how her Caucasian offspring’s preferential treatment jarred with the rest of the family. The daughter’s life of “privilege and entitlement” contrasted with her sons and the observations were incisive, scalpel sharp and humorous. Tellingly, the stand-up artist felt the need to point out…“her daughter was a good kid, I just need you to know that”…in this, the golden age of communication, one can never know how your words are going to be interpreted.

It was noticeable at the “meet and greet” after the show, of the higher number of females who were determined to hold hands and share a connection with Ria Lina. I was content to reflect on the one-liner about Scottish society. No I am not going to tell you, as I am not fearless enough and I don’t know how you would take it.

By: Swilgate Scuttler

Ps With Huntingdon Hall offering such quality comedy on our doorstep, it would be wrong to miss out on these great opportunities. Alarmingly, you could miss out on a one-liner that captures the whole night and is worthy of sharing forever…

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