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Lorna Rose Treen - interview

Making her Edinburgh Fringe debut throughout this August, Lorna Rose Treen is an award-winning comedian, writer and actor. Already having great successes through her shows, to amassing millions of views across social media, the rising star is soon to be performing her solo piece, Skin Pigeon, to new audiences.

Discussing this, and her journey to her current career, Lorna has answered a few questions to tell us more.


What can you tell us about the content of your upcoming show, and why people should come to watch?

The show is an hour of me playing different characters that I’ve been writing across this past year. It’s high energy and ridiculous. Some characters are stupid and throwaway, and other characters are a lot more realised, relatable and go on a journey. I wanted to make a show that doesn’t mean anything, but feels a bit like a cartoon. It's escapist joyful, surreal, silly and most importantly - funny. I am not trying to say anything big really, I just wanna make people laugh and have a good fun time! There’s 00s nostalgia, film parodies, and even a musical number.

How was Skin Pigeon conceived, and how was the process of confining your performance to just an hour?

I started writing the show through short sets which I’d gig on the comedy circuit. To create them, I’d improvise by myself in my room on camera and write down what was good. It sounds mad, but I’d stick a lamp on my face so I could sort of feel like I was on stage. I live on a main London road and sometimes the double decker bus would stop outside at the exact high of me doing this, people would look at me like I was very odd.

How do you connect with the different characters you play when creating and becoming them, and how do you make sure the audience does too?

I think a big trick is remembering the audience at all times - my characters don’t exist without them watching me, and any character that wants to be alive, needs to be seen. I make sure my character always has a reason to be in front of people.

The characters that have made it into my show are ones which I find fun to play time after time. Some characters (particularly one really annoying squawky voiced one) have been savagely cut because I lost my fun playing with them.

How do you feel about making your Edinburgh Fringe debut with this piece?

It properly feels like a ‘Hello...this is me!’, freckles, bruises, warts and all. It’s very exciting to get to show off for an hour and have 28 (eek) gorgeous different audiences!

Do you have a particular bit of your act that you most enjoy, and what has been a favourite audience response previously?

The nice thing about playing multiple characters is everyone leaves having a different favourite. I couldn’t choose a favourite, but a big thread through my show centres on a Brownie Girl Guide - who I love playing because I feel so daft and nostalgic whenever I put the uniform on. It’s not my exact old uniform, but I’ve cobbled it together to look like it.

How did beginning your career in journalism lead to the role you are doing today?

I trained in comedy whilst at uni, and then afterwards as a producer for BBC Radio. I worked as a journalist for Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour for a long time. I learnt a lot about storytelling, making short-form content, and also met the most interesting characters.

I think I found the responsibility of being a journalist quite tough, though, to be always accurate and fair and factual. I basically do the opposite of that now as a comedian - I just lie and make stuff up!

Could you discuss how you came to writing for radio as well as stage, and what has acting and comedy brought to your life?

I love breaking and playing with form, and learning how to make funny stuff in whatever medium. Radio was a natural step for me because of my background producing in it. You can make really creative worlds and decisions for real cheap - because you don’t have to show any of it.

I love acting too because you just get told what to do and then if you’re too big or being crap, someone says “stop that” and you just change what you’re doing. It's fun to be in someone else’s world and contribute towards their big picture, and it’s also fun to not be in charge. I love working with other people - it's so fun to make each other laugh and you learn loads from their creativity. I recently filmed an advert with Blink Ink and the incredible comedy director Joe Pelling, and the cast was so fun to play with, it felt a bit like being in a school play again.

How was it to receive your recent collection of awards, and which aspect of your career are you most pleased with?

Oh man, it’s all so mad isn’t it! I’ve never won anything before comedy. I quite prolifically came last in my year 12 public speaking competition and cried in the toilets about it for an hour. I was terrible in sports day, and I scraped a 2:1 at uni by one sweet mark. (Mark was the name of my professor who I snogged to get the grade).

Live comedy is such an in-the-moment, present thing, and if you do something funny people laugh - and, quite crucially, if you don’t they stay silent. So to win awards external to that is super surreal. It just feels really lovely to have people enjoy what I do and encourage me to make more!

I was as shocked with winning Chortle Best Newcomer as I was when I won the awards at Funny Women.

I don’t know if there’s a specific area of my career I’m most pleased with, but I think I’m most shocked at how much I’ve enjoyed making online content - and how creative I’ve found socials to experiment on. My first ever experiences of comedy were in live improvisation, so to do recorded online stuff - without an audience - and still find lots of fun and stupid play, is rad.


Many thanks to Lorna for chatting about this for us - your work sounds brilliant and so much fun to be part of. Best of luck for all your upcoming shows and beyond!

Skin Pigeon (WIP previews):

  • 16th July @ Tunbridge Wells, tickets here

  • 25th July @ the Pleasance, tickets here

  • 27th July @ The Museum of Comedy, tickets here

Get tickets to the Edinburgh Fringe shows (2nd-27th August) here:

Additional thanks to Clive Drew and Vicente Desantes for coordinating this interview.


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