“Though, now it’s celebrating its second birthday, perhaps it’s my toddler…”
Kitty Cointreau is talking about BraHaHa, her burlesque and vaudeville variety show, appearing for its second year at this year’s Fringe.
“I love the glamour and the decadence of burlesque,” she says. “BraHaHa is my tribute to vaudeville – it’s fun, vibrant and uplifting and features the best mix of talent I can find. And the Fringe is perfect for that!”
in 2010, Kitty attracted the likes of Piff The Magic Dragon, Will Hodgson and burlesque star Missy Malone to her BraHaHa; and with the Fringe’s new Cabaret section of the programme, she hopes to attract even more this year.
“I’ve been touring the show around the country since 2009,” she says, “and I’ve been blessed with a great following. And there’s more cabaret acts at the Fringe this year than last, but everyone’s show has a different tone to each other’s – it’s really encouraging.”
If Kitty Cointreau’s BraHaHa is as popular as last year, you’d be advised to move fast if you want to see it. And you’ll need to be even quicker off the mark to catch the other show she is bringing to the Fringe: Kitty & Johnny’s Speakteasy, which runs for only two performances.
“It’s a different format,” explains Kitty. “I’ve been good friends with Duncan Oakley for a few years now – he’s amazing, a real one-man band. So Speakteasy is a mix of musical comedy and burlesque, with a rock n’ roll flavour. It’s a great combination.”
Although 2010 was BraHaHa’s debut, Kitty herself has been appearing at the Fringe for several years seeing shows, producing stand-ups and performing herself in guest spots. A trained dancer with an interest in theatrics, she actually started out as stand-up herself before making a name for herself as a burlesque act.
“I love the glamour and the style of burlesque,” she says, “and also ways to explore mixing it with contemporary art and fiction; I don’t like to be defined as being in any one genre.”
“And I love the huge variety of the Fringe. It’s not hard to find a great show – all the best talent is there. And it’s such a beautiful city too. I love places like the Voodoo Rooms; and I can’t wait to go back to the City Cafe for breakfast again!”
“There’s a great camaraderie amongst performers too,” she continues. “Everyone’s in the same position and totally understands each other.”
“It’s hard to come away from the Fringe without having become better in some way – whether that’s your act, or as a person yourself.”
See Kitty Cointreau’s Brahaha at Just the Tonic’s Caves throughout the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 4th-28th August. For more information and tickets see www.edcomfest.com. Kitty & Johnny’s Speakeasy is at Laughing Horse @ Espionage on 4th & 5th August at 15:45 – more information is available on the Fringe website.