When I heard there was a one-woman show called Diary of a Dating Addict doing the rounds in London, before of course heading up to it's natural home, the Edinbrugh Fringe, well of course I tracked down tickets to the very first preview of Maddy Anholt's latest.
Eager to know whether art would imitate life I swapped the rare London sunshine and beers on the common for a little dark and slightly sweaty theatre above a bar in Camden.
Now, when Maddy took to the floor and introduced the concept of her show as finding a man before the ‘dreaded age’ of 30, well as a 24 year old, as a dating blogger, as a woman or just a person, I definitely slumped a little in my seat. I rolled my eyes and reached for my over priced beer from the ‘it’s an extra 50p to pay on card’, thank you very much, bar.
I bit my lip hoping it would be good. Hoping I wasn’t about to see another reincarnated Bridget, hoping Maddy wasn’t just another woman who subscribed dismally to the fairy tale notion that so long as we find a man before our ovaries and self esteem dries up everything will be ok.
What followed made me breath out a deep swell of relief, laugh to the point of almost choking on my overpriced beer and, nod my head countless times in, well, in agreement with the familiarity.
Thankfully Maddy isn’t another whiney spinster, she’s a strong female lead taking control of her life, but like so many of us bombarded with quick fix dating apps, ‘find love in three easy swipes’, she sometimes gets it wrong. Or winds up with Mr Wrong…
Diary Of A Dating Addict hangs between the expectation to find a man and, the question of just how to do that, in a culture and city more obsessed with deadlines than standards.
Maddy’s style is punchy and funny and as she introduces the first of her failed dates, seamlessly transforming into the ‘Wanker Banker Banter Boy’ herself, I’m entirely on her side. I let slip the slightly outdated which seems to be idea fueling the show and allow myself to settle into the familiarity of high expectations to be met with dating disasters.
This is definitely a show for any hopeless romantic out there, who’s suffering from a little virtual-reality check, off the back of tinder!
Maddy’s portrayal of the bolshie, arrogant, city slicker is spot on and I wonder whether Maddy’s been sat in the same bars as me, spying on one of my own dates.
With each new character, Maddy creates recognizable male stereotypes with broad-brush strokes and at one point even throws down a ‘freestyled’ rap. Is there anything this girl can’t do?
The show comprises of four parts, four different men, and in-between there are some brilliant stories and comments on dating. There is some ‘audience participation’, which usually, to me, are two of the dirtiest words you can utter in a darkened room full of strangers. Happily this is handle well, is on the mark and extremely funny. However beware if you’re a gentleman sitting on the front row…
By the time we’re half way through I begin to see Maddy as not only an extremely talented comedic actress, whose interpretations of modern day dating in the city are equal measures astute and hilarious, but she’s also some what of an online dating aficionado!
Did you know that the perfect dating profile must have three specific photo types in order to succeed?
1. The ‘slightly pouting selfie’
2. The ‘here’s the full package full body shot’
3. The ‘look at how many friends I have group shot’.
Who would have thought the theater could ever teach us anything useful..?
Maddy’s portral of each new Mr Wrong is daring, provocative but above all familiar to the point where I feel I’ve at least shared a lift with each of these men, if not a few awkward cocktails.
Diary Of A Dating Addict is a witty, if slightly dismal, representation of life as a single girl. By all accounts the show is highly relatable, especially to girls like myself, who know only too well the out dated expectations enforced by over baring mothers everywhere. Girls who understand the frustrating reminders that we’re falling behind our friends, in the race that is life. Who resist the urge to report or block people who ‘pollute’ our Facebook streams with baby photos. We get it! Thomas likes spaghetti!
Maddy captures brilliantly the tedium, confusion and heart bursting struggle, which has become the dating world. A place now overpopulated, with apparently bored opportunists, playing their hands at being modern day Casanova.
Happily by the end of the show Maddy even touches upon a point so cheesey and yet so valid:
You won’t find someone to love you until you love and respect yourself
A much wiser sentiment to close the show on, than the pre-feminist notion, with which we opened.
However this is a comedy and Maddy plays a woman not a heroine, so I’m not completely convinced that she’s learnt her lesson.
Diary Of A Dating Addict runs until 30th July in London before moving to the fringe! Details and tickets can be found below! Enjoy
July 12th - Komedia, Bath CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
July 24th - Museum of Comedy, 9:30pm CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
July 26th - Komedia, Brighton CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
July 30th - Cutty Sark Studio. Double Bill with Tom Allen, 7:30pm CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
Edinburgh Fringe Festival
The Study – The Gilded Balloon, 1:30pm
5th – 31st (not 17th) August 2015