Our Fringe expert meets Juliana Heng to discuss their solo show Walking On Spectrum


This is part of a three-week nearly everyday series wherein polyamorous ex-nun nurse nonbinary queer comedian Kelli Dunham explores all the queermost edges of The Edinburgh Fringe, performs her own hilarious and hopefully hopeful show, annoys and confuses people with her gender, and drags you along for the ride. 

I’m sleeping on an airbed in a friend of a friend’s living room all Fringe. Although one could make a case that if someone lets you, um, live in their living room for a month, you are – in fact – actual friends. Or one of you is exceedingly generous, in this case, not me.  

My host is a kind yoga instructor who – to her great credit – neither talks like a typical yoga instructor nor talks very much about being a yoga instructor. Around day ten, we were joined by Marvin The Cat, a part-time resident due to an inspiringly complex cat custody arrangement with my host’s ex. 

I made Marvin a welcome home sign because I’m a middle-aged queer person with a culturally lesbianic background. It didn’t impress him. 

“One star,” Marvin critiqued my homecoming placard. “Very predictable.”

Marvin’s art opinions didn’t preclude him from later snoozing with his head on my left foot. This would be odd from a human critic but feels magnanimous from a cat.  

Speaking of flyering furry friends (come on now, we almost were) I talked with Juliana Heng about how Juliana is finding Fringe. And finding an audience. 

What are you doing in Edinburgh this month?

Performing my solo show, Walking On Spectrum, jumping on line-up shows to give the audience a teaser of my show and make new friends! I’ve also been patting every dog I see and passing the flyers to the owners. I welcome dogs to my show too! 

Walking On Spectrum is a medley show that explores different ways to tell one’s life story through stand-up comedy, spoken word, and storytelling. It started off as a virtual show during the pandemic in May 2020. Since then, it has travelled virtually to 11 fringe festivals worldwide & won multiple awards! Since its arrival at Ed Fringe, Walking On Spectrum has earned a four-star review and been nominated for the “Actually Autistic Excellence Award” by Neurodiverse Review UK.

Who likes your show / who is it for?

Neurodivergents, queers, women, Asians, and open-minded people.

Who won’t like your show / who is your show NOT for?

Close-minded people.

What would you be doing this August if you were not doing this? 

Rot in my home by watching lots of Korean dramas! 

What are you enjoying most / enjoying least about your experience thus far?

Most Enjoy: Watching different shows that I don’t get to see in Malaysia. At the end of every day at Ed Fringe, my power supply (phone, power bank & human body) is nearly empty, but my heart is full of inspiration, love & courage!

Least Enjoy: Lost too much time during transit. I am living in Musselburgh, performing my solo show in Leith, and doing line-up shows at Edinburgh Old Town. Could have used the travel time to watch a couple more good shows. 

If you were a tree, what kind would you be?

Durian Tree, because it’s like my thorny buzzed cut! 

Does your family like this particular show? 

No, Because they are the cameos in my show! 

Juliana’s show Walking On The Spectrum continues every day until 27 August, 3 pm at the Strathmore Bar. And find Juliana on Facebook or IG.  

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