Comedy blog

Harriet Braine: Edinburgh Fringe 2017 interview

Harriet Braine Edinburgh Fringe

2016 Funny Women Award winner, So You Think You’re Funny? Finalist and Musical Comedy Awards Best Newcomer Harriet Braine presents her debut hour of funny songs about the great and good of the art world.

Hello. How are you today?

Tired. I’ve just written a new song, about the Japanese artist Hosukai, and might give it its first outing at my gig tonight, so I’m excited too. Mainly tired, though, as I’ve been gigging non-stop on top of my day job and loving every minute of it.

At this stage, how closely does your programme blurb match the content of your show?

Pretty closely. However, I hint at a topic (namely the artist Leonardo Da Vinci) in the blurb and my poster, but the song I’ve written on said topic is such a difficult one to sing, I really want to take it out of the show because it takes so much energy, and I am lazy.

Have the momentous events of 2016 affected your act in any way?

If you’re referring to Brad and Angelina’s spit, then I am a transformed woman. Permanently scarred and constantly weeping. Nah, not really. I try my best never to mention Brexit or Trump, but they do come up occasionally if I think of a good on-the-spot comment when bantering with the audience about their town or whatever. I don’t really do ‘current events’ (I talk a bit about why not in my show) and so they don’t affect my act much. I try to offer some sort of pleasant escapism.

Who are you sharing a flat with this festival and how will you help each other survive the month?

I’m sharing a flat with an old friend of mine from uni. I studied at Edinburgh College of Art, and a lot of my peers stayed in Edinburgh after finishing, for obvious reasons, like how it is the best city in the world. This particular friend has recently moved into a flat in Leith with incredible 70’s wallpaper. She won’t need any help surviving, but I will need regular counselling and a ton or two of fisherman’s friends or some other throat-saving device.

Any shows you’re particularly excited about seeing?

Great British Mysteries by Will Close and Rose Robinson. I was in the Funny Women final last year with Rose and she makes me laugh more than pretty much anyone else. Sofie Hagen’s Dead Baby Frog, because she’s great, but especially as it’s at Bedlam and that place brings back so many lovely memories of student drama times for me. I’m also particularly excited about seeing Helen Duff’s When the Going Gets Duff, and Louise Reay’s Hard Mode. Both these chicks are HOT, also I know their shows are going to be genuinely interesting as well as hilarious.

Other than the great shows, what else are you looking forward to about your trip to Edinburgh this year?

Seeing old friends, making new ones, getting the bus into town from Leith and back every day, going to Armstrong’s, eating at Viva Mexico at least once a day and spending all my bucket money on margaritas, and recycling a massive pile of unused flyers because rampant positive word-of-mouth publicity about my show has filled the Golf Tavern every day since the first weekend. I’m a bit scared no-one except me knows where the Golf Tavern is, though.

What celebrity death hit you the hardest in 2016 (mine was Wogan)?

Bowie hit me hard, but then Victoria Wood’s happened and I was like – WHAT??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

Here’s a space to write about anything you want. Go for it.

You’ve depressed me now, by asking about 2016 stuff. So you can just sod RIGHT off.

Harriet Braine – Total Eclipse of the Art
Laughing Horse at the Golf Tavern
4-27 Aug, 1.15pm

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