Maddy Anholt: Herselves

★★★
comedy review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Maddy Anholt
Published 12 Aug 2017

Now here's a question: if your show involves a fair bit of audience participation, and you spot another talented comic in that audience, should you get them to join in? Or is that not the done thing? It crops up during this particluar performance when latecomer Hardeep Singh Kohli is called onstage for Anholt's female spin on Mormon polygamy, which involves one woman being pleasured by numerous beaus called Norman. He gets to apply the nail polish.

Actually Kohli directed and co-wrote Anholt’s breakthrough show last year, so probably didn’t mind, and she hardly needs much extra help anyway. This gifted character comic is a classy practitioner of a genre that can be tough to keep interesting: she maintains the momentum by rarely getting off stage. With barely any costume changes it’s up to her sheer versatility to fuel these varied egos, most of whom are performers too. The best is the first, a reality TV semi-celeb whose faith in her own sub-fame allows Anholt to actively ramp up the crowd's energy early on. Nice touch.

The tone veers from winsome West Country radio stand-in to aggressive Aussie TV host, both of whom also require some well-worked audience input, and our host makes a valiant, if not entirely effective stab at tying all the characters together at the end. The writing isn’t always as strong as the performances, in truth, but as a showcase for her talents this is another successful hour. Good luck to any act who unwittingly calls Anholt up onstage, incidentally: no-one likes to be outshone in their own show.