Who? Harriet Braine
What? Les Admirables
Where? Gilded Balloon at Old Tolbooth Market – Top (Venue 98)
What are your feelings as you enter into this year’s Edinburgh Fringe season?
Broadly positive. I’m in a better place financially and mentally than I was last year, and so far I am happier with my show. The Fringe could easily turn that all upside down though!
What is the premise of your Edinburgh show this year?
Telling the stories of some amazing women from the history of science and technology, while also diving into my career as a performer and a bit of family history, talking about my grandmas, both scientists. It’s also funny (promise).
What is the biggest obstacle you face(d) while putting this show together?
The two main challenges were finding the funny side of the subject matter, and writing original songs rather than parodies this time. It’s not been easy, as my whole schtick in previous shows has been based around mocking supposed ‘genius’ artists, usually male, so an easy punch up. Whereas now I’m talking about people who really had to deal with a lifetime of not being taken seriously because of their gender. Take away most of the parody song elements (I’ve still got a couple in there for old times sake…) which provide easy laughs, and it’s a real challenge. A good challenge! Love a challenge.
Has your attitude towards the Fringe changed at all in recent years?
Yes, and it never gets easier! I’ve learnt to keep my expectations low, and then it means any positive things that happen feel really good! I’ve learnt over the past few years that it’s really important to pay attention to your mental and physical wellbeing, which for me means taking a lot of time out, being quiet most of the time to save my voice and also just remembering to chill out, and not staying up late. Boring but important.
Do you have any other Edinburgh show recommendations?
I’m really looking forward to seeing Siblings’ latest show, as they always have me in stitches. Also Sooz Kempner’s new show looks amazing. Can’t wait to see Jayde’s Ballad of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face. Best title ever. I love me a bit of improv too, so I’ll be trying to see Spontaneous Potter, and other people I don’t get to see in London.
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
I’d like to be either preparing another exciting new show for Edinburgh (I love it really) and maybe even without a day job! Or I’ll get a part in a West End show that runs forever and be famous. Without having any acting or singing training or qualifications. That’s how it works, right?