Musical comedian and archives assistant Harriet Braine was crowned the winner of the 2016 Funny Women Awards. We grabbed Harriet for a chat about her comedy, very convincing trumpet impressions and her favourite funny women…
Funny Women: How does it feel to be the 2016 Funny Women Awards winner?
Harriet Braine: It feels great, especially as my fellow finalists were all incredibly strong performers.
FW: What was it like to have Ellie Taylor as your mentor?
HB: Ellie was a superb mentor, it was so nice being able to get in touch with her whenever I had a question or a thought about my set – we had some very long rambly angsty text conversations. We had some great chats and hanging out with her in the green room was the most fun ever.
FW: Describe your comedy for our readers
HB: My comedy is songs about fairly dry subjects (mostly art history, as that’s what I studied so my brain is full of it) to familiar tunes. I throw in funny accents and characters, occasional trumpet impressions, and sometimes jokes in the talk between songs.
FW: What inspired you to go into musical comedy?
HB: I have always loved musical comedy, particularly Tenacious D, Flight of the Conchords and the beautiful Victoria Wood. I figured, I know how to sing and play some instruments, so why not?
FW: What’s next for you comedy-wise?
HB: Comedy-wise I hope to do some really special gigs, perhaps develop a decent show (based on my Edinburgh show from this year) and perform in some proper amazing venues. I really want to branch out and work with other comics, give sketch or comedy acting a go. I would love that. Also I hear Mitch Benn has left The Now Show…
FW: Who are your favourite funny women?
HB: My favourite funny women are honestly my fellow finalists. They are all gonna be huge (as Donald would say) and I love them all. In case that answer is too lame, I’m just going to list the last few funny women I laughed at whilst browsing YouTube last night: Doon Mackichan, Holly Walsh, Jessica Hynes, Kristen Schaal, Margaret Cho, Isy Suttie… I could go on a long time. A single fave is hard to pin down.
FW: Any advice for people thinking about entering the Awards next year?
HB: My advice would be to go for it full throttle and don’t play it safe. It may be a new act competition, and it may be heavily plastered in glitter, but these judges and that crowd are primed and ready for some seriously ‘out there’ stuff – and I know there are some incredibly weird ladies out there. I want to see them!