Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Edinburgh Fringe is the latest stop for comedian Vidura Bandara Rajapaksa’s ‘chaotic’ life journey

© Rebecca Need MenearComedian Vidura Bandara Rajapaksa
Comedian Vidura Bandara Rajapaksa

Fringe debutant Vidura Bandara Rajapaksa hopes his show will help write the next chapter in an already ‘chaotic’ life story.

The well-travelled stand-up heads to Edinburgh for the first time next month with his eyes firmly set on making comedy his career.

Born in Sri Lanka, he left the country in 1999 as his parents went in search of a better job. He spent his teens in New Jersey before a stint at medical school in Malaysia.

Swapping medicine for software engineering, he sent his resume to all corners of the globe and the first job to come up was in Berlin.

It was here that he found a true passion for comedy as part of the German capital’s flourishing scene.

Bringing a show to Edinburgh for the first time is the next rung of the ladder as he looks to make comedy his full time job.

“I never really thought of anything artistic as a thing to do,” he said. “I thought, I can’t make a living out of this, especially back home. So I went down a sciencey route just because I wanted to be employed!

“In Berlin, I hung out at shows because it’s one of the few English speaking activities that you can do. The scene there is very unique.

“In the UK, I’ve noticed there’s less diversity of perspective on a mixed line-up show,  because everyone is British, there’s a thing of being from one place.

“Berlin is still mostly German as a city, but if you’re in the English speaking scene, you’re from somewhere else. You would get people that are from entirely different worlds and parts of the world.”

So enamoured was he with the city that Rajapaksa directed and starred in a documentary on the Berlin comedy scene, Open Mic Days, which streams on Amazon Prime Video.

But he saw no way to make a living from comedy in the German capital and decided to move to the UK – one of the first deliberate moves he’s ever made.

“When I moved here, I was semi starting over and nobody knew me,” he said. “I was doing bottom of the barrel shows – and the bottom of the barrel here is much more difficult.

“In Berlin you start and you get about five to seven minutes usually, and real audiences of more than five people – and it’s not just all comedians in the room, which is always nice.

“I’m very happy I started in Berlin and not London!”

Rajapaksa’s life story forms the basis for his Fringe debut, titled Monsoon Season.

It’s described as a “downpour of everything” taking in topics from the Pixar film Ratatouille to the struggle of battling an eating disorder in a starving country.

“I structured autobiographically, a sort of greatest hits of my life really,” he said. “I’d say my style is quite conversational. Because of the way I perform, it comes off as storytelling but they are very much just bits disguised as stories.

“At this point, I’m slowly getting better with my social ineptitude. Generally, I’m more comfortable with an audience than I am with a new person.

“For the most part, I’m just much comfier with an audience because I think I have a confidence in that context where I have my material, I can talk about stuff that I don’t really talk about with anyone in my life, really, except for a couple of people.

“An audience sort of disappears into the ether, you don’t have to deal with them knowing this stuff.

“Everyone is sort of different with their line of stuff they feel comfortable and not comfortable talking about. I was raised Buddhist and I think I have a detached sort of personality, which makes that a little bit easier.”

Like many at the Fringe, Rajapaksa hopes his show will help propel him to the next level.

He dreams of taking the show on tour, while also working on writing and directing short films and documentaries.

“I’m still working the day job but it feels like there is light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

“I feel like I’m ready for stuff to start happening. I feel confident in my abilities as a writer and performer. I think the show is good and then if people see the show and then stuff comes from that, then I’m ready to be seen in that way.”


Vidura Bandara Rajapaksa – Monsoon Season, Monkey Barrel Hive 2, Aug 4 – 28 at 1.55pm (Excluding 15 and 16), vidurabandararajapaksa.com