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Meet Samantha Baines

The actress and puntastic comedian is in Exeter to perform her sell-out Edinburgh show. Muddy booked in for a natter.

woman dark curly hair red lipstick

If you’re a fan of women, puns and science, then comedian and actress Samantha Baines basically wrote her critically acclaimed show for you, my friend.  One Woman a High Flyer & A Flat Bottom was a total sell-out at last year’s Edinburgh Festival and will have you sniggering your way through the evening, as well as raising a glass to some of the lost women of science – yep, that actually happened!  Muddy recently had the chance book in for a quick natter with Samantha, as the Exeter Alumni prepares to return to her old stomping ground.

People either love or hate a pun.  What do you say to the haters?

I’d say: I bet you hate marmite too! I actually don’t like marmite but I love a good pun. Here’s one for you: I did comedy at a baking convention, instead of shutting out they just threw Eccles.

So, tell us what the show’s all about? Science, isn’t it? 

It’s about the lost women of science! I discovered some awesome women who should be household names but for some reason haven’t got the attention they deserve so I thought talking about their brilliant lives for an hour with a few jokes thrown in might help!

What possessed you to bring science onto the comedy stage – what was your inspiration?

I just like science – I’m basically just a woman who wants to get more out of her Physics GSCE. For each of my shows I pick a sciencey subject then do tons of research and write jokes based on the facts and stories I discover. It makes it a fun way of working for me and I learn new things, too!

Do you think that women just aren’t taken seriously in science – your show kind of plays on that idea, doesn’t it?

I think women have faced extreme sexism in so many fields and one of them is science. So many brilliant women have been written out of the history books and shouldn’t have been. Two of my lost women don’t come up if you search their names in the online reference section of the British Library. The British Library has over 20million books!

What’s the best fact you learned in your research?

Sally Ride (1st American woman in space) was asked (by the engineers at NASA) if 100 tampons would be enough for her 7day space flight in the 1980s.

[Muddy eventually manages to speak again] What can I expect from an hour in your company?

Depends what we are up to. We could pop for an earl grey tea with soya milk and have a natter, or watch hilarious cat videos on YouTube. If you mean what can you except from my hour show then I’d say facts, silly poems and a few puns thrown in for good measure. After seeing my show you will be very handy at a pub quiz.

Women have really been in the spotlight of late, haven’t they? What do you make of it all? 

Yes and about time! I think it’s wonderful that we are starting to recognise women’s positive contribution to the world and women are coming together and we are supporting one another to speak up and say that we shall not be silenced.

What do you love more – the acting or the comedy?

Ha, I always get asked this. Acting and comedy are like my kids and you’d never really ask me to choose between my kids right!? I love them both equally. Acting is my eldest so she’s been around longest but comedy is younger and super cute.

What would be the Holy Grail of all roles for you?

Something fun in Monty Python The Holy Grail

Do you ever feel like trying to sneak a pun or two into your acting roles? I so would…

Yes! Lots of the time I don’t even have to try and it’s written in for me!

You’re coming to Exeter – any Devon connections?

I hope there are rail connections or I won’t be able to get there! What!? You mentioned puns first. I went to Exeter Uni so it will be lovely to be back in my old haunt.

What’s next for Samantha Baines? Any fun plans for this year?

Lots of fun things coming up so keep your eyes peeled. I’m writing a book and doing a lot of presenting this year so I’m keeping busy!

 

Samantha Baines: 1 Woman A High Flyer & A Flat Bottom, will be at Exeter’s Bikeshed Theatre on Sun 4 March, 7.30pm.  Tickets £12. bikeshedtheatre.co.uk

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