After being crowned winner of the Funny Women Award in 2016, musical comedian Harriet Braine looks set to make an impression at this year’s Edinburgh Festival. Her debut Edinburgh show Total Eclipse of the Art covers the ins and outs of the art world, and Harriet will be performing it the Laughing Horse at The Golf Tavern throughout August.
1) What excites you most about the Edinburgh Festival?
I’m most excited about seeing loads of shows. I want to see some completely new faces, even though I know I’ll probably end up going to see friends’ shows mostly. I’m also most excited about seeing my Edinburgh people, from when I used to live there. Also the art galleries are amazing, I have a few favourite restaurants I’m excited to go to… basically everything apart from doing my show.
2) What is your first Edinburgh show about?
It’s about visual art, and the artists behind it, like Picasso, Monet etc. It’s a very silly musical show where I make fun of artists but kind of worship them at the same time. It’s also a little bit about me, but in previews so far I haven’t really ‘opened up’ yet. I prefer playing characters, doing semi-offensive accents and my mouth trumpet. Seriously, if I could do just an hour of trumpet impressions I would.
3) Does your comedy attract a certain type of audience?
It tends to attract a slightly older audience (which is ideal, no mucking about, good bucket etiquette), usually fairly cosmopolitan, lots of different Euro nationalities, usually quite a few LGBT. Everyone has some connection to art, even if they hate it, so I find I attract a very varied audience.
4) What is the worst experience you’ve had with Edinburgh accommodation?
I’ve had no bad experiences because I’ve always stayed with my friends who already live there and have their lives sorted out! My worst hypothetical nightmare would be having to sleep on a floor with other people in the room. I like my own room to cry in.
Winning the Funny Women Stage award last September was an incredible night. It goes hand in hand with doing a comedy gig with Nish Kumar and John Lloyd at the Victoria & Albert Museum. John called me a genius. That is a treasured memory in the cheesiest sense.
There are so many… But Jan Ravens: Difficult Woman is a must see for me. She was doing impressions for us backstage at the Funny Women Awards, I was completely in awe of her and still am.
7) What do you hope to gain from the Edinburgh Festival this year?
Some cool fans. I love talking to my audiences about art, and everything really, geeking out with like-minded arty folk. I’m not that fussed about reviews, but I know the machine needs feeding… so I hope to gain a couple of stars.
8) What do you imagine your last ever show will be about?
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone’s last show ever… they always come crawling back. Also in the future there will be holographic comedians doing shows, so I plan to create a few holographs of myself and keep going forever. My holographic shows will be deeply philosophical and partly in French. I will have found a way to make that funny by then.