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Random 8

Lorna Rose Treen

Lorna Rose Treen. Credit: Will Hearle

One random comedian, eight random questions; it's the ultimate test of funny person and fate. This week that person is the increasingly in-demand Lorna Rose Treen, who's writing and starring in all sorts of stuff. We'll get onto her new radio show soon, but first: Skin Pigeon.

Last year's hugely acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe show has just finished a run at Soho Theatre, and is now returning to Edinburgh for a lap of honour. So how is she feeling about this gloriously daft debut, a year on?

"I'm so excited to come back!" trumpets Treen. "It's such a fun show to perform because it is just built of things I love playing pretend at. It moves so fast, I don't have time to get bored as a performer. Because the show is such a smorgasbord of characters, afterwards people always have different opinions about which is their favourite character or bit. I love that!"

The swimming! The stickers! But have there been any adjustments, since that last Fringe run?

"I've tweaked the bits that were crap and they're good now! There's one new bit which is very... hazardous. And I'm excited for my producers to tackle that with the risk assessment for Pleasance..."

Good luck with that. It's been a busy year since generally, and one big fruit has just started on Radio 4 (and BBC Sounds). Treen was once a radio producer - on Woman's Hour, notably - and channelled that experience into a sitcom-cum-sketch show. Time Of The Week stars Sian Clifford [Fleabag, Vanity Fair] as a scarily realistic magazine-show host, and Treen in multiple supporting roles. Well, she did co-write it.

"This year has been ridiculous!" admits the writer/performer. "We (myself and co-creator Jonathan Oldfield - who directed Skin Pigeon) were commissioned for Time Of The Week before the Fringe last year, so as soon as September came, that's mostly where my head went.

Time Of The Week. Image shows left to right: Jodie Mitchell, Aruhan Galieva, Lorna Rose Treen, Chloe Slack (Sian Clifford), Jonathan Oldfield, Alice Cockayne
Time Of The Week. Image shows left to right: Jodie Mitchell, Aruhan Galieva, Lorna Rose Treen, Chloe Slack (Sian Clifford), Jonathan Oldfield, Alice Cockayne

"One of the big nice things about TOTW has been working with other people. It feels so nice - after working solo solidly for a while - to be in a collaborative space again, having other brains and juices and opinions. Alongside the FEMnominal Sian Clifford, is a cast of people I really really rate, and we got to have a writers' room (How?! Did?! We!? Get!? That?!) which I co-ran, full of some of the funniest people I've ever met. Honestly, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

"Last fringe properly changed my life, and the opportunities I've got off the back have been honestly THRILLING. I am very excited for all the things to come out and get working on the next set of projects. And also I've JUST started working on my next live show..."

Exciting times. Lorna Rose Treen, your Random 8 await

When were you most embarrassed?

Oh I am all the time. I love it! It's actually one of my fave performance techniques and where I think my (sorry I'm gunna say the 'c' word) clown lies. Most recently, twenty minutes ago, I was in my kitchen and Artful Dodger feat. Craig David: Re-Rewind came on Radio 2 so I sang along really seriously, and cringed so much at myself I got actual goosebumps on my arms.

Which low-key law would you introduce?

I think the girl who bullied me in middle school should have to give me her car. I know that's very self-centred, but maybe we could work out a system for everyone to get the same retribution and reward.

Lorna Rose Treen. Credit: Will Hearle

What's your favourite phrase or expression?

I like it when people say "take that out of your mouth!"

Ever walked out of a film or show (before the end)?

I tried to walk out of the Shreksperience. I was so angry, but the exit is at the end of the Shreksperience so I had to experience the rest of it, which made me even more angry.

Who's the most interesting person you've ever met?

Not a person, but a chimpanzee. And not met, but watched in the new Planet Of The Apes film.

What's the best - or worst - book you've ever read?

Best book: Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich.

Worst book: My Instagram messages the day after I've been drinking. Sooooo many likes and "you look so hot babe!"s and "have you seen the new Planet Of The Apes film"s.

Lorna Rose Treen. Credit: Will Hearle

Your most regrettable purchase?

There's a 15-year-old who works the counter at our chippy and he loves me and my bf. He thinks we're siblings actually, as a lot of people do. He's learnt our names and always waves at us.

Anyway, he charmed me into buying chips yesterday when I really didn't want them. I really regretted that, I really didn't want chips. I walked home holding them like "HOW did that happen!"

What's your favourite building?

Near my home town is a bizarre open-air museum called the Avoncroft Museum of Historic Buildings, which sort of collects buildings from different periods. There's a good pre-fab there, a very charming Edwardian cafe, and also the National Collection of Telephone Kiosks.

And I love the Žižkov Television Tower in Prague. That is good. Avoncroft should look at acquiring that.

Lorna Rose Treen: Skin Pigeon is at the Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh, from July 31 to August 12.

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