Funny At The Fringe – INTERVIEW – Hannah Fairweather: Just a Normal Girl Who Enjoys Revenge

It is festival season and that means that in the next month there is so many great comedy festivals to look forward to! This month we are looking at some of the great shows that you can see at the Edinburgh Fringe. So take note because we are going to give you all the information you need for just a handful of some of the great shows happening this year! We have also been able to interview some of the acts that are heading up to the Fringe as well.

Hannah Fairweather: Just a Normal Girl Who Enjoys Revenge

Location:   Just the Tonic at The Caves, Just Up the Stairs (Venue 88)

Dates: Aug 4th-14th, 16th-28th

Time: 14:25

Price: £7

Ticket Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/hannah-fairweather-just-a-normal-girl-who-enjoys-revenge

Hello! Tell us about yourself? 

Hello! My name is Hannah Fairweather, and I am a stand up comedian and writer. I also claim to be an actor on my CV even though I haven’t actually acted professionally yet – but I figure that ‘acting’ is just pretending that you are something you’re not, so, to be fair to me, I am doing exactly that. 

I also like to (rather obnoxiously) refer to myself as the Taylor Swift of comedy, because, like Swift, my work is personal, of the narrative storytelling genre, and often about people who have wronged me in the past. 

If things like awards and credits impress you, I was 2019 Rising Star New Act of the Year, and semi-finalist in multiple new comedian awards including: BBC New Comedian Award, So You Think You’re Funny, Leicester Square, 2Northdown, Komedia Brighton. I’ve also been heard on Talksport, Times Radio, Union Jack Radio, BBC Sounds and Radio 4 and I’ve written for BBCs The Now Show and Mock The Week. 

How did you come up with the name of your show that your taking to the fringe?

My show title is a nod to a line that Dwight Schrute says during Season 7, Episode 4 of The (US) Office. When Michael Scott realises he has herpes and is trying to figure out who he got it from, Dwight says “I’m no doctor. I’m just a normal guy who enjoys revenge”. It’s important to stress that no one involved in my show has herpes, but if you come see it, the reference will hopefully make a lot more sense.

Tell us all about your show!

My show is essentially me making my way through a list of everyone who has wronged me in the past. It’s almost entirely inspired by my love and admiration of Taylor Swift – I love everything she’s ever done, except ‘CATS’ but we all make mistakes. 

I reveal my list throughout the show – a list that I keep in a little blue book I carry with me everywhere and that includes all the usual suspects – ex boyfriends, ex colleagues, ex flatmates, podcast hosts and, of course, some devout Christians I met while playing college golf in South Carolina.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at the fringe?

There are so many brilliant shows coming to the Fringe this year. Some of the best I’ve seen so far (via previews) are from Sean McLoughlin, Sam Lake, Erika Ehler, Alex Kealy, Stuart McPherson, Jack Barry, Connor Burns, and Krystal Evans. I can’t wait to see all these shows in their final forms – although there’s a variety of different styles in this list, crucially they are all packed with jokes. These people also happen to be some of the kindest I’ve met in comedy – and I think, if you’re going to let someone talk at you for an hour, they should, at the very least, be likeable.

Have you done the fringe before? What are the key pieces of advice you have been given or would give to new groups or people performing at the fringe. 

I am performing my debut hour this year, but I have performed at the Fringe in the past with things like a split bill and spots and competition finals. I think the biggest piece of advice I could offer or have been offered myself is to remember why you’re there – it’s such a fun festival but it’s easy to get wrapped up in all that it has to offer and tire yourself out, so remember you’ve got a job to do and you want to do it as best you can. My priority will be making my show the best it can be everyday and since I am incredibly sensitive with a terribly weak immune system, I will be drinking my herbal tea, getting plenty of sleep and minding my business throughout the month.

What have been some of your favourite shows to date and why?

I’m a big fan of Daniel Sloss. He’s a brilliant comic and a wonderful joke writer, and his shows have such strong messages and incredibly well-thought out structure. Audience members always leave having laughed loads but also knowing exactly what the show was about – and it cannot be overstated how much skill it takes to present a clear message while still maximising entertainment value. ‘Jigsaw’ is my absolute favourite comedy special – my Dad explained love and life in the same way Daniel’s did (via the jigsaw analogy he discusses in the show) and Daniel articulated everything I think about relationships and love. If it wasn’t such a great show, I would probably hate Daniel for writing the show I wish I wrote. 

I also love James Acaster’s ‘Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999’ – it goes without saying that it’s hilarious and he’s one of the best there is, but he also expressed a lot of feelings that resonate with me about experiences I have also gone through in my own life – that I reflect on in my own show.

Favourite one liner you have done in a show and why?

“The best way to sum up South Carolina is my roommate had a pro life sticker on her automatic weapon”

I went to university in South Carolina on a Division 1 NCAA Golf Scholarship, and it was, to say the least, a mad place to live. Living in the deep south of America was a very difficult and eye opening experience – and also a very formative one in my life, so I have really enjoyed translating those experiences into comedy and reflecting on that time in my life – thankfully from afar.

What three items are essential for a successful Fringe? 

An Oxbridge education, a famous Dad, and a good herbal tea in case your voice gets strained. 

What have been some of the most unique and different comedy shows you have seen this year and why?

I have seen Nic Sampson perform his show a couple of times already and it’s magnificent. There’s so many narcissistic comedians (myself included) with shows all about themselves, but Nick has done something really cool and unique by choosing a topic – the 1904 Marathon and taking audiences through a weird and wonderful journey discussing this unbelievably mad but true story. Nick is a superb actor as well as a comic, and he’s created a very immersive entertaining show that really showcases his many talents – I guarantee the show will be translated into film form soon, and hey Nick – I don’t know if you know this, but I’m an actor!!

What is the best way to enjoy yourself at the fringe?

There are so many factors that are completely out of your control, so I think focussing on those within your control is fundamental to enjoyment. Writing a show that you are proud of and that you find funny is the most important thing you can do – after all, you’re the one performing it every single day.

Best thing about performing at the fringe?

I’m really excited to get to perform my show everyday. I know that I am my own harshest critic so it takes a lot for me to be proud of my own work. I’m really proud of this show, I’ve worked hard on it for a long time now, and I’m excited to finally get to share it with audiences.

The most challenging thing about performing at the fringe?

The honest answer to this question is that participating in the Fringe is a massive financial loss-leader and even breaking even can be difficult for extremely talented acts. There are so many upfront costs that you have to pay to simply participate and even more to get the exposure needed for maximising potential opportunities that could come out of a successful show. So many of us are in our overdrafts in order to follow our dreams which is stressful and challenging – this isn’t a fun answer but it’s the business part of show business.

What’s the secret to successful flyering? 

Hopefully the person I have just hired – Tom, I’m counting on you.

Who would be your ultimate dream audience member?

You. Please come.

If people want to find out more about you where can they follow you on social media?

@hannahfairweather on instagram, @hanfairweather on twitter and www.hannahfairweathercomedy.com for everything all in one place.

And Finally in three words – Why should people come and see the show? 

I need money.

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