Hello! Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
Hello, I'm Maddy Anholt – comedian etc.
How would you describe your show?
Herselves is pure escapist entertainment. An hour packed with 16 characters.
Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?
I ask myself the same question. No, I joke. There's no place on earth like the Fringe. Not only is it an amazing platform for comedians, actors, musicians, dancers, singers and more, the atmosphere is electric. There's always something to see, do, somewhere to go. Nowhere is there one place where one minute you can go and see a man standing upside down with his head in a bucket to a top comedian. For me, it's a bit of a rite of passage; it's where to go to hone your craft.
What differentiates it from other festivals?
I guess because Edinburgh Fringe is just so huge. Over 700 shows a day, the logistics of it are insane! It's the go-to place for anyone wanting to try their hand at anything creative and to challenge themselves in every single way!
Do you think the Fringe has changed over the years? If so, how? Are these changes positive or negative?
My first Fringe was 2011; I was young, naïve and really thought one show at the Fringe = your own TV show. Haha, how wrong I was! I'm much more hardened to it now. I loved it then and I love it now.
I think the essence of it has remained as the biggest arts festival in the world but it's definitely gotten more expensive which is a shame. You still need to beg, borrow or steal at least £8,000 to do a month run in a big venue.
What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?
I always knew comedy and acting were about my only choice – I can't do much else! But really, I knew from a young age I wouldn't be happy doing anything else. I watched Smack The Pony, I guess I was about 13, and that was it for me. I thought, wow if these three women can create such genius and that's how they make a living that's what I'm going to do. I've always done accents and over the years I've worked and worked on my characters. This is why this show this is so special to me – it's a culmination of all the characters I've worked on.
If you didn't have your current job, what would you probably be doing?
When I was 18, a careers adviser told me I should be a funeral director. Maybe that would be my life now.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
I'm going to be a dick and say it would be this one. Honestly it would be. For all the stress and tears and hard work it's a massive privilege I'm grateful for every day to do this.
What is your earliest childhood art memory?
My earliest memory is of my twin brother trying to open a coconut with a hammer and accidentally opening my head. I mean... I think it was an accident. Either way, it explains a lot.
Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?
I did but with my show this year I don't as much. I would never call myself a political comedian but it is part of the job that material should resonate with how people are feeling and what gets people talking. Certainly there are times I'm more sensitive about material in shows if there has been a horrific event.
Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?
Hmm… I mean I've definitely taken it upon myself to create a show this year that should serve as an escape. I honestly feel that's what people are after. I learnt that the hard way – last year I did a show about Generation Rent and the fact is people get "Empathy Numbness". There's only so much bad news, sad news, hard news one person can take. This year I'm all about some good old ludicrous humour.
Describe the last year in 5 words or less.
Hustle. Happy. Hard-Working. Heart-warming. Herselves.
If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?
I would say Katherine Ryan. I worked with her briefly on Sunny D for the BBC but I would love to work with her again. She's honestly the nicest, most genuine, talented person in this business. Hashtag girl crush.
Maddy Anholt: Herselves is performing at Underbelly, Med Quad at 13:30 on 2nd – 27th August. For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.