Review – Maddy Anholt: Herselves

***

Maddy Anholt: Herselves

Underbelly Med Quad

Until 27th August (1:30pm)

Herselves is a slick and tightly packed hour of character comedy and sketches from comedian Maddy Anholt. In a television-esque format, Anholt introduces us to a host of characters, each well differentiated in voice and manner. She is an engaging and energetic performer and only uses minimal costume changes and props to showcase her comedic range. Highlights include the vagina vlogologs, and the wonderfully punny Book of Norman. At one point she even impersonates an eleven year old girl with unnerving accuracy. For all these high points, other characters, such as the dating show host fell a little flat; the writing just failed to pop. I felt as a performer Anholt was stronger than some of her current material.

There was, as can be expected from a fringe show, audience interaction a plenty, but Anholt manages this in a way that didn’t make someone who usually hides at the back cower in fear. A particular delight was stand-in radio host Susan Barker taking calls from the audience; such a gentle character facilitated a warm response from the crowd.

The most surreal element of the show was for me also the best, where she dances a peacock mating ritual; it’s unexpected and utterly hilarious. It feels like a real break from the safe selection of characters we have previously seen. For me, this riskier scene seems to be her really finding her niche.

Anholt’s style is made for television, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see her there soon; perhaps bolder character choices, and an injection of snappier writing would just push her to that next level. Overall, Herselves is an entertaining hour and worth spending an early afternoon on. It runs at the Underbelly Med Quad until 27th August.

For more information and to grab some tickets click here.

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