My Festival: Hannah Fairweather

The Edinburgh-based comedian on playing golf in America, the importance of a rigorous exercise routine, and her dad’s lawn.

My Festival: Hannah Fairweather

What are you doing at this year’s festival?

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I'm performing my debut hour Just A Normal Girl Who Enjoys Revenge. I like to, rather obnoxiously, refer to myself as the Taylor Swift of comedy, because my work is personal, of the narrative storytelling genre, and often about people who have wronged me in the past. In my show, I reveal my list of people who have done me wrong, kept in my little blue book. My list 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.

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What do you most want to see this year and why?

Some cold hard cash in return for performing my show. I assume the question was about other shows I’d like to see, and if I have to spend some of my cold hard cash, I would happily hand it over to see the brilliant Sam Lake and Chelsea Birkby.

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What’s your favourite place in the city and why?

My dad's lawn. I have never cared about anything the way my dad cares about his lawn. I hope I find that sort of love one day. Obviously, so I don’t ruin any of my dad's hard work, I’m not actually allowed on the lawn, but it’s pretty nice to look at.

Hannah Fairweather

Who do you most like spending time with at the festival?

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My family - they live in Edinburgh and I’m really lucky to have a family who, while supportive of dreams and career aspirations, do not care about comedy. Despite the disappointing lack of nepotism, it’s great for my mental health to be around people who remind me of what really matters - and whether by correlation or causation, I find that those not wrapped up in comedy are the funniest and most fun to be around.

What do you remember about your first ever Edinburgh festival appearance?

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My first time at the festival was 2019, I did a split bill and a few competition finals. The best thing about the month for me was getting to stay with close family friends who were kind enough to offer me their spare room.

Hannah Fairweather.

What are the best and worst things that have happened to you in Edinburgh?

I live in Edinburgh so there is a great deal of scope here. If we are talking specifically during the festival, I would say a highlight is getting to perform a show I have worked really hard on to packed rooms who seem to really like it. A lowlight has included being so tired from said show that I have missed my stop on the train home and have ended up in Glasgow Central – unintentionally while listening to Super Trouper.

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How was lockdown for you? Did it change you, and if so how?

As it was for many, lockdown was awful for me both professionally and personally. My calendar was wiped clear immediately meaning a loss of income but more significantly, it was at a time when I was starting to gain a lot of momentum in my career as a relatively unknown comic starting to break through, so it was difficult to have everything just come to a halt. At the time, my family were also living overseas – my dad's work had taken him and my mother to Australia - so it was very tough to be isolated from them for a couple of years as well. I think despite how awful it was, lockdown changed a lot of us and shifted our priorities, making us realise what is really important in this life. I am grateful to be back working towards being rich and famous once again.

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Tell us something about you that would surprise people.

I went to college in America on a Division 1 golf scholarship. I think it surprises people to learn I’m pretty good at golf. Men who have played twice like to ask me if I reckon I could beat them. A ridiculous question; of course I can’t, I’m a girl!

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

I believe in taking care of myself, in a balanced diet and a rigorous exercise routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I'll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches. I can do a thousand now.

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And what’s the last thing you do before you go to bed at night?

Watch a good film. Something like American Psycho.

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Thanks for the interview! We’d like to buy you a drink. Where are we going and what are we drinking?

I’m not drinking during the Fringe. Could I have a sandwich instead? I think economically it’s about the same. My favourite sandwich in town is at Thomas J Walls Coffee and I go there a lot during the festival.

Hannah Fairweather: Just a Normal Girl Who Enjoys Revenge, Just The Tonic at the Caves, 2.25pm, until 28 August.