Ria Lina: Taboo Raider

★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 08 Aug 2015

We're lucky to have Ria Lina, for without her there'd be no one willing to raid our taboos. She's essentially carrying out a public service with her ignorant musings on all that society deems unacceptable. Finally, here is a comedian brave enough to base her show's title on an out-of-date pop culture reference just for the sake of an Angelina Jolie mastectomy joke.

Taboo Raider is so far removed from any sense of reality that criticising it is a daunting prospect. What if Lina intends it as surrealist character comedy, the supremely idiotic end point of the suggestion that "political correctness has gone mad"? What if it's science fiction standup, set in a dystopian world in which all human discourse really is policed to an absurd degree? It's a significant loss-of-innocence moment when one finally comes round to accepting that an artist could plumb such hackneyed, thoughtless depths.

The hour sees Lina tear a succession of straw men to shreds while making unfounded assumptions about the squeamishness of her audience. What she seems incapable of understanding is that her ilk aren't censored in any way and that offensive comedy has long been established as a standup staple. She's very much the Nigel Farage of the Edinburgh Fringe, using her platform to propagate the myth that she has no platform, presenting herself as a plucky outsider rather than the embodiment of an oppressive, self-centred, sporadically amusing establishment.