Maddy Anholt – Herselves
- Brian Donaldson
- 22 August 2017
A clumsy and predictable multi-character show with glimpses of quality
There's little point in denying that Maddy Anholt has comic acting talent in spades but her multi-character assault here is just too low on decent gags to fly. Shazz, a predictably delusional reality-TV 'celeb' from a little-watched ITV digital channel show entitled On the Pole and On the Dole, kicks proceedings off in Herselves while there's more success to be had with plain old Sarah Barker, a radio-station cleaning lady who ends up being DJ for a day.
In terms of originality, Anholt strikes absolute gold with the woman trapped in a corner while attempting to deliver her Agoraphobia Hour podcast. But for the most part, the creations limp along with only the odd moment maintaining the crowd's flagging interest. Still, everyone perks up dramatically when Hardeep Singh Kohli is brought up on stage as a 'volunteer' to polish her nails in a routine about a female polygamist.
There's no law against it, of course, but some unwritten Fringe edict about getting a fellow performer up on stage feels as though it must have been broken here (especially when it concerns someone who has actually co-written and directed one of your previous Edinburgh shows). However, there should definitely be legislation put in place to prevent multi-character acts from attempting to bring all their creations together in a final-scene compilation. Maddy Anholt is not the only one to attempt it at this year's Fringe but no one has succeeded in making it feel anything less than clumsy.
Underbelly Med Quad, until 27 Aug, 1.30pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).