Binge Fringe Magazine

INTERVIEW: A Digital Pint with… Linus Karp, Spinning a Queer Tale with ‘Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story’ at EdFringe 2023

Do you think you know the story of the People’s Princess? Combining Drag, multimedia, audience interaction, puppetry, and queer joy: Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story is a truly novel concept being brought to EdFringe next week by performer Linus Karp. Told by Diana herself from heaven, the show aims to highlight her ground-breaking stances on Queer and social issues – and, in Linus’ own words, allows her to “speak her (un)truth in breaking free from the monarchy.” We sat down with Linus for a pixelated pint to get behind the truths and untruths of his new show.

Catch Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story at Pleasance Dome – KingDome from August 2nd to 28th (not the 15th or 21st) (16:30). Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.

Jake: Hey Linus! Your daring new show is a combined drag-multimedia piece told by Princess Di from heaven. Tell us a little bit about what inspired you to put together this unique celebration of the People’s Princess.

Linus: Hey Jake! Diana is such a fascinating subject, making a show about someone who today is so mystified, memed and surrounded in conspiracy really appealed to me – as well as the fact that she’s a queer icon of course. This being my third solo show I wanted to challenge myself by pushing the format as far as I could – and make a multi-character, multi-discipline show, basically as big as a show as possible but still on a Fringe scale and budget.

Jake: The piece sees yourself in Drag as Diana winding around video projection, voiceovers, dolls and cutouts of the people in her life. Tell us about the process of creating this piece about a historical figure through a queer and comedic lens.

Linus: I originally wrote the piece as a jokey birthday present for my Diana-loving mother-in-law. Because I didn’t intend to stage it I wrote multiple characters and many fantastical scenarios. It’s then been a really exciting challenge to work out how to bring that to life – working out that Charles works best as a cardboard cutout, Camilla is obviously a terrifying human sized puppet and what roles to be given to brave audience members. I was also very keen on making a show where queer is the norm. Rather than us as queer people having to fit in to heteronormative storytelling, this show will incorporate queerness in every aspect of it.

Jake: You mention that the show foregrounds Diana as the “powerful, independent woman she wasn’t meant to be”. Tell us a little about what you’re hoping the audience will take away from the piece.

Linus: Community is key for us and we very much create the show together with the audience. I want people to leave having laughed and experienced queer joy together. I think Diana herself would’ve liked that.

Jake: Tell us about your relationship with Edinburgh and the Fringe – have you been before and how are you feeling about it all now we are a month away?

Linus: I have been to the Fringe every year since 2017, with the obvious exception of the covid years 20-21. I love it so much, there really is nothing like it, and I would never want to miss it.

I’m nervous and excited – this is the first time I’m doing a show I’ve created myself for the full month, and I’m also doing another one alongside Diana (my previous show How To Live A Jellicle Life: Life Lessons from the 2019 Hit Movie Musical ‘Cats’” is also heading to Pleasance Dome for the second half of the month). I’m prepared to be inspired, exhausted, overjoyed, awed, upset, stressed, entertained all at once and I really can’t wait.

Jake: Given the themes of Binge Fringe, if your show was a beverage of any kind (alcoholic, non-alcoholic – be as creative as you like!), what would it be and why?

Linus: Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story would be Two Gin & Tonics. It so happens to be Diana’s drink order in the show, but also because it’s a mix of strong meeting sparkly. And why stop at one drink? Go full out – the show certainly does!

Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.

Jake Mace

Our Lead Editor & Edinburgh Editor. Jake loves putting together novel-length reviews that try to heat-seek the essence of everything they watch. They are interested in New Writing, Literary Adaptations, Musicals, Cabaret, and Stand-Up. Jake aims to cover themes like Class, Nationality, Identity, Queerness, and AI/Automation.

Festivals: EdFringe (2018-2023), Brighton Fringe (2019), Paris Fringe (2020), VAULT Festival (2023), Prague Fringe (2023), Dundee Fringe (2023)
Pronouns: They/Them