A comedian with Asperger’s syndrome is to perform a solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival questioning what it means to be ‘special’ or ‘normal’.
Ria Lina’s show, ‘Thpethial’ – a mix of stand-up and songs – seeks to question society’s labels and explain why we’re all special and should celebrate our individuality.
Lina felt compelled to address the issue following an online complaint that she had made fun of ‘special people’ during one of her previous shows. She believes the complaint was based on a misunderstanding of her comedy and a fear of talking about disability.
“Getting diagnosed with Asperger[‘s] syndrome last year had a huge impact on my life, helping me to understand myself and why I see the world in a certain way,” she said. “However, being labelled as autistic also made me feel like I’d lost some of the uniqueness that made me special.
“My show is about the journey that I went through trying to understand who I am and the realisation that we’re all special.”
Lina is performing her show in support of the National Autistic Society (NAS).
Dave Boorman, head of fundraising at the NAS, said: “Ria is passionate about using her comedy skills to challenge preconceptions about disability.
“Her show is controversial; some people will agree with what she says, others won’t but it will get people thinking and talking about autism and the money donated will help us continue our work supporting people with the condition.
‘Thpethial’ will run for 10 days as part of the Funny Women Pop Up Fringe. It begins on August 15 and runs for one hour. It is recommended suitable for people aged 16 and over.