Harriet Kemsley: ‘I wanted to work with dinosaurs’

Harriet Kemsley is at the Havant Comedy Club
Harriet Kemsley is at the Havant Comedy Club
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Harriet Kemsley has already racked up an impressive number of awards and nominations in her short career.

Originally from the cobbles of Canterbury, but currently on the mean streets of Streatham, she was Funny’s Funny Winner and the Up The Creek, One To Watch Winner both in 2011, before winning Bath New Act of the Year and Brighton New Act of the Year in 2012.

You may have also caught her act as part of BBC3’s Comedy Marathon, London Live’s Funny Rotten Scoundrels or the Radio1 Comedy Lounge.

When did you first realise you were funny?

I was always getting myself into ridiculous situations and my parents always found them quite funny, so a few years ago they suggested I try stand-up. I think I’m the only comedian whose parents have actively encouraged their child into the murky world of stand-up comedy.

What would you be if you weren’t a comedian?

Well I always wanted to work with dinosaurs, but not dead ones and the careers advisor said this wasn’t a ‘viable option’. I do strange bits and bobs aside from comedy, I recently voiced an evil queen in the video game Dark Souls 2.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

I opened for Stephen Merchant in Oslo. That was pretty awesome and luckily Norwegians speak English even better than me.

Tell us about three things that make you laugh.

Katherine Ryan is amazing. Obviously she is not a thing, she is a hilarious lady. I open for her on tour sometimes and every night the audience just love her so much.

Weirdos – they’re a bunch of very funny idiots that put on nights around the place.

Animals falling off things while looking proud.

Tell us a joke.

I live in a house with four grown disgusting men and one of them keeps on hiding behind doors and shooting me with a crossbow. It’s not a joke, it’s just the sad reality of my life.

Who’s your biggest hero?

My grandad –he’s been flying a plane and doing acrobatics in it well into his 80s.

What have you got in the pipeline?

I’m doing my first hour at Edinburgh Festival this year, which I am completely calm about (arrrgh!). And I’m about to open for Stewart Francis on his new tour around the place.

Harriet will be performing at The Spring Arts Centre in Havant as part of the latest Havant Comedy Club. The compere for the night will be former Guide Award winner Joe Wells.

Doors open 8pm tomorrow, and tickets cost £10 advance, £12.50 on the door.

Go to thespring.co.uk or call the venue’s box office on (023) 9247 2700.