Review – IlluminArchie: Archie Maddocks

IlluminArchie is the hilarious new show by ‘super cool, super smart storyteller’ (Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard) and award-winning comedian, Archie Maddocks.  He is described as ‘poignant, inventive and razor-sharp’ ( and as having ‘a corking, almost cinematic story’ (  Join Archie for his new show, which looks at, but is not limited to, how he wishes someone would take control of his life so he didn’t have to, an accidentally racist girlfriend, a killer doughnut and an altercation with a monkey.

I saw Archie Maddocks on Tuesday night as part of Bringing to Book, which was a benefit for two legal charities working on the Grenfell Tower Fire.  I was really impressed with him, especially for reciting the poem written by one of the surviving residents.  You could tell it was hard for him and not how he is used to performing but he did it well and I was touched by it.  Here as part of the Free Fringe, I ended up seeing his show my chance as I was in the area and remembered I had his flyer in my bag.  I’m glad I took that decision and for once was happy I got the library’s opening hours wrong.

Deep in the depths of Espionage, Archie Maddocks delivers an hour’s worth of comedy during IlluminArchie.  Given the size of the venue, he warmed the crowd up with a few “Who are you and where are you from?” questions.  OK, this is a comic’s standby but he did it well and remembered the people’s names throughout the show.  That alone was impressive as I’ve seen others forget them by the end of a sentence.  After relaxing the audience a little – we didn’t need a warm-up as the room was roasting, even for the Fringe – he got into his show and stride proper.  From what I could tell he partially tailored the show based on the audience’s reaction to some of his more boundary pressing jokes.  Personally he pulled back too much and I would have liked to seen where he would have gone.

Maddocks treats us to a little of his personal and family history, shares information about his relationship and treats the audience as friends.  He even let go a loudmouth eejit spoiling the punchline of one of his jokes; I apologised afterwards and he accepted it graciously.  He is a young comic who, while not the finished article, is well on his way to being a polished performer.  He is personable, clever, able to think on his feet and has thought about how to bring material together to create a show.  I look forward to hearing more from him and hopefully seeing him next year. Preferable in a cooler room.

About LothiansKen

I'm a middle classed kiddie, but I know where I stand.
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