Failed love, crippling debt and living with an angry 83-year-old. Not exactly what Maria Shehata had in mind when she left LA for the UK. Well, she might as well write a Fringe show about it, and here she is in Edinburgh, doing precisely that, Hero is at the Gilded Balloon for the month of August. Maria spoke with The Fountain about how the show came about.

TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how excited are you?

I had such a weird one two years ago. I was doing a show about a relationship that was on a break while I was performing it. So people were coming up to me asking what happened to the relationship and I had to say I didn’t know because I was still living it. This year is much more light-hearted, I’m having a lot of fun with this show.

TF: Hero certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?

Hero is about my life in the UK after my move for love didn’t work out. I was living on couches with two trash bags full of stuff to my name, and needed to find somewhere cheap to live. I ended up lodging with an 83 year old. Not exactly what I had in mind when I left LA.

TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?

My comedy has always been about my personal life. So I guess my life influenced the show.

TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?

I am really excited to catch as many performances as possible. I’d like to see more plays because I want to write a play and can really use the inspiration. I think first-time performers should know that emotionally you are about to embark on a little journey, and just keep it in your head that if you’re feeling low, the world exists beyond the Fringe and it will all be forgotten in a month.

TF: And what are your future plans beyond Hero?

I’m writing a TV show and a book based on my time in the UK.

You can see Maria Shahata: Hero at Gilded Balloon at Old Tolbooth Market until 25th August at 17:15. For tickets, go to