Starting from the beginning, Hannah Fairweather kept a diary in her teens in which her past and current life experiences, as well as current news, fuels her stand up shows. This is especially the case for the set she will perform at Brighton Fringe this year, ‘Just a Normal Girl Who Enjoys Revenge’ (A nod to the sitcom The Office US). The show will touch on growing up internationally and how her upbringing has influenced her identity today. She said, “comedy wasn’t personal in the beginning. Jokes used to be about other people, but in the beginning when I would only have a 5-minute time frame to tell all my jokes, you have to let people know who you are very quickly”.
“Comedy was a ‘pipe dream’ when I was younger. I never went out to pursue it”. Fairweather started carrying out temporary jobs whilst partaking in small gigs and open mic nights where sets would only be 5 to 10 minutes long then “momentum builds very quickly, and you gain contacts along the way”. This resulted in landing a writing role on BBC Two’s ‘Mock the Week’. From previously gigging with one of the MTW comedians, Eshaan Akbar, Eshaan reached out to Fairweather and offered her a temporary writing role for his segments within the show. This gave Fairweather the bug to carry on writing for big shows, she said, “it’s more satisfying writing jokes than performing them, you can write in someone else’s voice”.
As a new and rising face in comedy which is becoming more representative, she said, “comedy isn’t a competition. Comedy is subjective and not everyone will think you’re funny. There’s loads of acts but also loads of audiences”.
Fairweather was never always driven to do comedy. She went from professional golf to accounting and now comfortably aiming high for her career in comedy. “It was my golf instructor who told me to take a step back and told me to basically do more of the things I should be doing for a girl my age. I’ve kind of taken that and carried it through to writing now. Some days I will sit down and will need to take a step back because I can’t think of any jokes at all and other days it’ll be a lot easier.”
When asked to define what comedy means to her, she said, “comedy is a surprise” and also “comedy ruins jokes.” “I do sit and analyse other people’s jokes and think about how I would deliver them. Not because I am criticising their work, it’s just how I watch other stand ups”.
Self-affirmed, honest and rather funny, Fairweather will be performing her show ‘Just a Girl Who Enjoys Revenge’ at the Caroline of Brunswick pub on Saturday May 21st and Sunday May 22nd at 2pm.
Words by Shannon Williams