Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Harriet Braine

Musical comedian Harriet Braine has been making a bit of a splash on the comedy competition circuit recently. She was the 2016 Funny Women Award winner, a So You Think You're Funny? Finalist and Musical Comedy Awards Best Newcomer and once you've seen her it is easy to see why she is doing so well. As the title of her debut full-length show, Total Eclipse of the Art, indicates, Braine likes a bit of pop-basd wordplay. Throw in references to art history – by day she is Archives Assistant at the National Maritime Museum – and you've got a very catchy, clever performer, with maybe a hint of a posh Victoria Wood about her. Here's Braine's big pitch: "If you like amusing accents, bizarre characters, a woman making trumpet noises (with her mouth), and 1980s one hit woders, you'll love this. No prior reading required, all materials provided."
Harriet Braine: Total Eclipse of the Art is at Laughing Horse @ Golf Tavern from Aug 4 - 27. Info here.


1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt and check for spinach between your teeth)?

I check my guitar is in tune and that the pre-amp battery hasn’t run out. 

2. What irritates you?

When I make little mistakes. I’m not talking about mistakes onstage (although I do make little mistakes onstage), but things like burning food on the increasingly rare occasions I try to cook something nice. I also hate forgetting things, being late, and my complete inability to multi-task. Other people generally don’t irritate me that much unless they are really obnoxious or wearing a perfume that makes me sneeze.

3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

Probably jumping or diving off something into water. I love doing that. Once I dove off a cliff and really quickly slammed into the seabed with my hands as it wasn’t deep enough and I hadn’t checked. Always check. 

4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

One time when I was on holiday with my school friends when we were about 16, I went off with a random Italian man I liked the look of for a walk in the dark. Luckily he was lovely and not a murderer. He was also a show jumper, or so he said.

5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?

How quickly I’ve been able and lucky enough to gig with some of my heroes from off the telly. I am still surprised at how lovely people off the telly are. I met Lucy Porter the other day and she is the loveliest person ever. 
Interview continues here.

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