Maddy Anholt is my soul mate. As late 20-year-olds living in London, we’ve both sold ourselves to pay rent over the years. After putting an ad on Gumtree aged 18, she worked a series of menial and degrading jobs just to afford hovels and rat holes around the city. At one point she considered working as a hostess in a gentleman’s club, but decided to preserve her dignity even if she suffered financially. Meanwhile, I became a journalist. So I failed that test.
We’re also both single, which, you know, perfect. Last year she brought a well-received show about hunting for a man to the Fringe, and the search continues with her audience this year. Admittedly it’s a small pond on the weekday I attend, but as a Persian Princess on the look out for a king she can’t afford to be choosy, flirting with the crowd and playing them off against each other. Her dad—a sort of Dutch version of Jesus—is a bit intimidating, but that’s okay. At least she’s not still living in his stables, like most of our age group.
The audience interaction bolsters Anholt’s puns, anecdotes and nineties kid nostalgia, and she’s confident enough to leave the house lights up and include people in the show. Though she’s playing a character the aim is to be relatable, particularly to others trapped in Generation Rent.
This swagger, even defiance, saves the show from its grim subject. It’s a reminder that just because our generation has to sell ourselves, we shouldn’t sell ourselves short. Call me.