Fringe Q&A: Harriet Braine: Les Admirables

In this historical feminist coming-of-age musical comedy show, Harriet Baine brings forth a team of rebellious women from the history of science to help her wage battle against ignorance, patriarchy and her inner demons. She also looks back over her career as a performer, from school plays to now, presenting her achievements alongside those of renowned inventors, healers and technological pioneers. Bold move, idiot.

AAA caught up with Harriet for a chat…

Is this your first time at the Fringe?

This will be my third solo Fringe show in three years, and before that I was doing other Fringey things (comedy competitions, working in press offices, bars, flyering and myriad other servile duties) nearly every year since 2011.

Tell us a bit about the show you’re in this year?

My show this year is a musical comedy show about really cool female scientists from history, like the first woman in space and the actress who invented Wifi. Much like Jesus Christ Superstar, I resurrect the dead and bang out some incredible tenor solos. Just kidding, I’m a soprano.

How much work has gone into getting it ready for Edinburgh?

I was trying to work out how many hours I’d put into writing it, and realised whilst doing so that I wrote a good chunk of this show on Christmas Eve. How sad is that. Then you’ve got hours and hours of previewing, testing and re-writing, etc. All that on top of a full time job which I insist on keeping so I can afford to go to Edinburgh in the first place, and it’s quite a lot of work.

There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

Whispers: it’s pay what you want, so you don’t even have to fork out if you don’t want to.
Shouts: YOU KNOW HAMILTON? MY SHOW IS PRETTY MUCH HAMILTON BUT ABOUT DEAD WOMEN INSTEAD.

Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

Helen Bauer is a hoot, can’t wait to see her first hour, and I’d recommend Mustard Doesn’t Go With Girls by Bric a Brac Theatre, Esther Manito’s Crusade, Sikisa’s I’m a 7, I’m really looking forward to Eshaan Akbar’s Infidel-ity too, ermmmm (I’m trying not to repeat recommendations I’ve made elsewhere, as I’ve got loads), oh and have you SEEN Alasdair Beckett-King’s animated trailer for The Interdimensional ABK? If the show is anywhere near good as the trailer, it’s going to be incredible.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

See above.

What are you planning to do on your days off?

I’ve already bought tickets to shows on my day off, including Bec Hill’s I’ll be Bec. I might go on my annual Portobello Beach trip as well if the weather’s nice.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

Historical feminist coming-of-age musical phenomenon with cat pics

Harriet Braine: Les Admirables, Gilded Balloon at Old Tolbooth Market, 18:00, Aug 7-11, 13-25, www.edfringe.com

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