Harriet Braine’s third solo show, Les Admirables is a historical feminist coming-of-age musical comedy show. Harriet brings forth a team of rebellious women from the history of science to help her wage a battle against ignorance, patriarchy and her inner demons at this year’s Fringe. She spoke with The Fountain about how the show was realised and her plans for Edinburgh.
TF: What is the premise of your show?
I am trying to shine a light on some amazing women from the history of science and technology, whilst keeping it light by telling a story of my life as a performer. It throws up some interesting contrasts!
TF: What drove the project, where did your influences lie?
I’ve been really privileged to be part of a new comedy/technology podcast project with DesignSpark, which means I have been doing a lot of research into the history of tech which I wouldn’t have done otherwise. I’m also influenced by my own family, as my grandmothers were both scientists and it got me thinking about what it would have been like to have been a woman in that kind of field in the 1950s and 60s. Sadly I never got to have this kind of conversation with them as they died when I was little.
TF: What are your plans for the Fringe, having been before are there any tips or musts you would offer to first-time performers?
I used to live in Edinburgh, so I would always encourage first-timers to really go out and explore different parts of the city, like Portobello, Leith, Gorgie and Dean Village. There’s a ton of amazing places to eat and drink too. I’d also say avoid the castle, there are so many more interesting historical places to visit. But most first-timers don’t have the time or money or headspace for any of that. So, no pressure! Just try to look after yourself!
TF: Is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
I’d like to go to the Botanical Gardens because I’m really cool and hip. I’d like to catch some live music as well, I saw Grimes at the fringe a few years ago and I had to bunk off work at the Pleasance to go, which was uncharacteristically rebellious.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond your show?
This question always stumps me because I didn’t go into this with a plan and I still don’t really have one. I’d like to travel more, maybe this will be the show I take round the world! I’d also like to get the part of Julie Andrews in a biopic. Surely she’s due one?
You can see Les Admirables at The Gilded Balloon at Old Tolbooth Market from 31st July – 25th August (not 12th) at 18:00. For tickets, please visit www.edfringe.com