2022 Edinburgh Fringe

Hannah Fairweather is out for revenge

Hannah Fairweather. Copyright: Karla Gowlett

Award-winning Scottish comedian Hannah Fairweather is preparing to out everyone who has wronged her in the past.

Tell us about your show, including how you came up with the title?

My show is called Just A Normal Girl Who Enjoys Revenge and consists of me making my way through a list of everyone who has wronged me in the past. Think Taylor Swift if she lacked musical talent but maintained the same amount of never letting anything go.

It is difficult to tell you more without giving too much away - but if one were to find my list of people who have done me wrong (kept in a little blue book I carry with me everywhere), they might find some of 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.

I don't typically go around enacting revenge in my real life - in fact, in real life, I very rarely stand up for myself, I just write stand-up. I think standing up for oneself is something that a lot of people have difficultly with - most of us think of what we actually wanted to say or should've said hours later in the shower. So that's what I decided to do - take every thought I have had whilst shampooing my hair and turn it into a show.

The title itself 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, this reference will hopefully make a lot more sense.

Hannah Fairweather. Copyright: Karla Gowlett

What are you looking forward to most about coming back to the Fringe?

This is an incredibly obvious answer, but I am most looking forward to performing my show. I have been working on this show for so long and I am so proud of it and so ready to finally share it with audiences. I can't wait to get to do it everyday.

What other shows - including any non comedy ones - are you most looking forward to seeing?

Erika Ehler has a wonderfully dark sense of humour and her gags are always smart and subversive - her show Femcel is at the top of my list.

Marjolein Robertson is an absolute joy to watch on stage - with an incredibly likeable stage presence and jokes aplenty. Her show is called Thank God Fish Don't Have Hands - although I have not yet seen it in full and don't yet know what her reasoning is, I guarantee everyone will leave entertained, enlightened and in complete agreement.

I'm looking forward to seeing Stuart McPherson perform his show The Peesh. Stuart is one of the funniest people I know off as well as on stage and his show is guaranteed to be one with an exceptionally high gag rate.

Every time I have gigged with Connor Burns he's absolutely smashed it. I'm in awe of his natural stage presence and the way he responds with ease to anything and everything that could happen in the room - a consummate professional in every way.

What was the moment that you knew comedy was for you?

I think, at least on some level, I've always known comedy is what I want to be doing with my life. However it took me a while to get here - I grew up playing golf, then studied engineering, and then worked as an accountant before pursuing comedy (the only thing that ties my haphazard CV together is my desire to steal jobs intended for straight white men).

However, throughout all of these different career pursuits, my dream of doing comedy has always lingered in the back of my mind. I think the first hints that comedy was for me came when I was playing golf as a kid. Whenever I won a tournament, I would get to make a little speech at the clubhouse of a golf course - looking back, it is clear I would subliminally treat it as a tight 5 (a bit of a foreshadowing scene in my future biopic), attempting to get in as many laughs as possible.

Hannah Fairweather. Copyright: Karla Gowlett

What does there need to be more of in comedy/at the Fringe?

Equal opportunity. Participating in the Fringe is a massive financial loss-leader and even breaking even can be difficult for extremely talented acts. The financial burden is huge, especially for working class acts, and there are aspects of the way the Fringe operates that prices such acts out. There are so many upfront costs that you have to pay to simply participate and even greater costs 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. There need to be more ways of reducing this burden so there is more opportunity afforded to everyone and therefore more voices are heard.

What does there need to be less of/at the Fringe?

Less paper waste and damage to the environment - hey, has anyone thought of maybe using an app?

What's the joke or quote that you live by?

"Quotes are for dumb people who can't think of something intelligent to say on their own" - Bo Burnham.

Published: Tuesday 26th July 2022

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