CB: How long have you been gigging in comedy?
MA: Since I came out of the womb; my twin was meant to be in comedy too, but I got there first.
CB: How would you describe your comedy?
MA: A gharish, ridiculous composite of observational satire and imagined silliness.
CB: Which comedians influence your comedy?
MA: I’ll keep it brief: Sally Philips, Rebel Wilson, Chris Lilley and, to keep true to my routes and mix in some old school for flavour… Dave Allen. Oh wait, I also think Terry Mynott is a God. Ok, I’ll stop there. No hold on, I forgot Doon Mackichan, I met her once, she smelled nice so I better say her too. I like people who are funny and smell nice, end of.
CB: Did you always want to go into comedy?
MA: I remember writing a personal statement years ago and it began “… I was born a parrot…”, of course at the time I was probably high on a cocktail of Calpol and WKD, crying into my Shredded Wheat that I’d never get into drama school but hey, the sentiment was: I’ve always enjoyed mimicking people, I’ve done it since I could gibber so yep, from a young age I knew character comedy was my thing.
I trained at ALRA alongside the likes of Miranda Hart and Bridget Christie, which gave me the tools to act and write too, so now I have those under my belt I will conquer the world. You didn’t ask me that but I’m just preparing you.
CB: How do you go about writing your material?
MA: People watching is one of my favourite past times so that’s where I start. I carry a notebook around with me at all times so if I hear a funny phrase or catch a funny gesture I’ll scribble it down. When I write I’ll wade through my notebooks and stitch together new characters; then I’ll sit down and talk aloud in the voice of the character and whatever comes out is the basis for new writing. It probably sounds pretty mental to be fair, my poor housemate.
CB: Do you perform full time or is it more of a part-time hobby? If so, do you find that your main job influences your material?
MA: Without sounding too wanky, being in comedy is a full time job so I guess I’d say yes, but it doesn’t quite pay the bills yet so I supplement it with working at ALRA, my old drama school. I just sit at my desk and write things like this; I’m good at the ‘busy face’. I’m joking Clive, I write new material, too.
CB: What do you find the most enjoyable and frustrating parts of the comedy circuit?
MA: In a way I’m in the circuit, in a way I’m not. I’m lucky that I can have time away from constantly performing to create my next show. I love that once in a while you stumble across people that thrive on helping new talent on their way up the ladder; that makes all the unanswered emails worthwhile. It’s tough but I love it.
CB: What’s your favourite type of audience to perform to?
MA: Last year I took my debut show, Maddy’s Many Mouths to the Edinburgh Fringe, I was pretty blessed that I seemed to draw in charming audiences. I had such a variety of people come and see me and chat to me afterwards from psychotherapists (it was a comedy about Multiple Personality Disorder) to plumbers. On my final Fringe show I was approached by a French businessman, he left a diamond necklace behind at the Box Office for me, that was nice… more of those, please. I’ll take gold and silver too, anything I can pawn for wine money.
CB: Have you been heckled a lot since you’ve started gigging? Do you enjoy being heckled? What’s the best heckle you’ve had?
MA: One of the places I previewed last year was at the Leicester Square Theatre, I don’t know why… I don’t know how, but a tiny little homeless fella that I can only describe as a very dozy Gandalph sat in the front row and snored so loudly that when he stopped someone went to check his pulse, we had St. Johns on standby. I’m not sure if that’s a heckle but all I know is, it’s difficult to give witty retorts to a sleeping man.
CB: What advice would you give to new acts thinking of starting out in comedy?
MA: Be brave and be prepared. My days are long, long days and there is always something else to do. You have to be prepared to put the time and energy in from researching names you should know to being prepared to prostitute yourself without the sex. Well… mostly without.
Keep going, you have to get your name out there. There’s a fine line between pestering and harassment, I’ve crossed it once and that cold night in a cell hasn’t taught me yet.
Maddy Anholt is a comedy actress and scriptwriter, last year she took her debut, self-penned comedy, ‘Maddy’s Many Mouth’s to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it received 5* reviews and was featured on BBC Radio London, as part of the Three Weeks Official podcast, on Funnywomen.com, at the Pleasance Theatre, London and showcased with BBC Radio Comedy. This year she’s back with her new comedy, #Desperate, which tells the hilarious and harrowing story of one woman’s quest for love in the ever-expanding world of Internet Dating. It will be at the Hen and Chickens, 28th June and 9th July. Tickets