Monday, 5 June 2017

Her Dramaturgy: Maddy Anholt @ Edfringe 2017


3– 27 August

£6.50 - £9.50

0844 545 8252

Character comedian Maddy Anholt returns following five-star sell-outs at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Soho Theatre with a brand spanking new and hilarious hour that delves into her surreal and sparkly world of outlandish characters.

What was the inspiration for this performance?
I’m coming up to 30… gulp and I felt this was the year, more than ever, to do have a show exactly how I wanted it. A show that was a bit crazy, I didn’t hold back on and allowed me, in some way, to use all of the characters I’d been storing up over the years. Inevitably, it has a through-line of women being presented with, and sometimes achieving their goals.
Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 
Without fail; but sometimes that’s not always a good thing. Often it works positively – the performance space allows the performers a medium to showcase their ideas and provoke discussion. However sometimes, it can work negatively – being a performer, should allow free expression yet that expression can be dulled by over-sensitivity and bitterness. I’ve been in performances before (not my own) where a member of the audience would rather shout out their contempt and disturb the performance than walk out. Surely one of the greatest stands is leaving if you don’t agree? As we saw beautifully displayed when graduating students walked out of Mike Pence’s Commencement Speech at Notre Dame recently.
How did you become interested in making performance?
I think I’ve always been interested in a job that gives you free reign to use your creativity. It wasn’t until I actually did it that I realised that’s not always the case! But making performance is vital for me, I live and breath it and when I’m not working or writing or creating I feel like that muscle gets weak and I’ve got to find a way to use it again.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
Herselves was a jigsaw puzzle. I knew what I wanted to create but I didn’t know how to put it together. I started by getting a huge piece of paper and writing down every single character, or every idea for a character I’ve ever had and then circling themes that that character would like to talk about. For the first time with a show I haven’t started with a theme and then slotted characters or ‘bits’ in, and that was very freeing.

Once I roughly had the characters I put them in a line up and thought which order they would go in and what their linking themes could be. What I started with was very different to what I ended with! Even now, in the preview stages I’m taking whole characters out and putting new ones in.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?
Funnily enough, this show fits with the very first show I took to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2011. After that I went much more towards scripted and then very far away. I think with this show I’ve got the right balance of improvised sections and scripted sections, and then sections that change entirely in every show.
What do you hope that the audience will experience?
Most importantly, entertainment! I’ve tried to do shows with heavy political messages in but what I wanted to create this year was a show everybody could be entertained by at least once… hopefully more!

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
 I decided to do the show in sections of characters – there’s sixteen in total! From my Persian Princess Rude girl, to the cleaner that got lost and found herself hosting a radio show! This means it’s a fast-moving show but also a show that audience members can take out parts afterwards. I’m hoping the audience will go out saying ‘I liked that character’, ‘I didn’t like that character’! That’s the kind of public discussion I want!

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