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CatFace Talent


Venue:Espionage, 4 India Buildings (Entrances on Victoria Street and Cowgate) Edinburgh EH1 2EX
Phone: 0131 4777 007
Links: Click Here for venue details, Click here for map
Ticket Prices: Free  
Room: Mata Hari
AUG 4-14, 16-28 at 21:15 (60 min)
Show Image

This is the debut show of award winning comedian and fiendishly good-looking dynamo love guru* Archie Maddocks. Being mixed race, he’s always felt a pressure to pick a team. Join him as he explores the crashing together of two separate worlds, and where he fits in, or fits out (is that a thing?) within them.

*None of this is true. Except award winning. That's totally true.

“Surely destined to rise through the ranks in the next few years…. If he can keep coming up with gems like that the sky is the limit” Bruce Dessau, Evening Standard.

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News and Reviews for this Show

August 24, 2016  The List
Review for Archie Maddocks: Shirts Vs Skins
This is Archie Maddocks' third successive appearance at the Fringe, and he's swiftly developed an assured swagger to his delivery, even if the material doesn't always match the confident demeanour. First up here, he needs to set the record straight on the title of his show. Shirts Vs Skins has nothing to do with sporting endeavours as he admits to having never been much cop in that arena.

Instead it's to do with his mixed race heritage and the dilemmas he's faced which have often led to him feeling that he's being forced to take sides. Maddocks dubs himself a 'walking indecision' and has some amusing anecdotes about being tackled on his identity by an African-American while his seemingly random discussion about grapes and raisins may have had some over-arching metaphorical message hidden deep within it, but it was hard to tell.

For now, Maddocks feels like a comedian who is brimming with vigour from being a successful club act. Whether he can translate that in later years to becoming a firm favourite at the Fringe is another story.

Laughing Horse at Espionage, until 28 Aug, 9.15pm, free. Click Here

August 20, 2016  Chortle
Review for Archie Maddocks: Shirts vs Skins
Shirts vs skins is not, Archie Maddocks is keen to point out, about his sporting prowess. Rather it’s the pressure he finds as a mixed-race man to ‘pick a team’ in what he often feels like a binary world of black or white.

Race is a definition he keeps banging into whether he likes it or not; from the American guy who told him ‘you ain’t black’ on hearing his British accent, to feeling out of place among the white Limp Bizkit headbangers, to being told on a climbing wall that black men can’t ascend. (He meant literally, though the metaphor is strong).

So the topic is a useful framework to give context to a broad range of first-hand anecdotes about encounters he’s had that are either odd, or he makes odd in his description, very much the dominant style in contemporary comedy. You can see the affable Maddocks fitting very easily into a TV stand-up show.

For he’s personable, lively and very fast-talking – attributes that stood him in very good stead when battling a hugely disruptive audience at this performance, including, but not limited to, a Russian woman so drunk she couldn’t comprehend where she was, good-natured walkouts from a group of friends deciding food was more important than comedy, and a man who randomly shouted out, ‘ananas’ – French for pineapple – mid-joke.

Though the odds were stacked against him, Maddocks persevered with his material, though even in this odd atmopshere he needn’t keep pointing out that gags deserved more: those who laughed would think him ungrateful and those who didn’t would think him arrogant. Nonetheless, he said the words: ‘That’s a nice line. I wrote it myself. You’re welcome’ often enough that it seems like a catchphrase.

Indeed, there are many neat gags in the show, though not quite enough for a constant stream of laughs, while the stories never coagulate into anything of great substance. Despite the underpinning theme, it’s really a succession of similar-ish yarns, which leads to a rather flat tone over a full hour.

He also reaches his conclusion about three-quarters of the way through the show, leaving him killing time with more of the same in the home straight.

However, there is a corking, almost cinematic, story about a run-in with an old-school Vegas mob boss here, which shines whatever it’s relevance to the topic in hand. Other stories of bizarre instances of racism (as if all racism isn’t bizarre) come with a deft touch, although there are other things he could probably delved into further: his time at the London school dubbed a jihadi training camp after nine of its pupils fled to join Islamic State prime among them.

Still, this is an upbeat hour of sprightly fun with a bit of substance; Maddocks could just do with varying the texture a little more. Click Here

August 13, 2016  Broadway Baby
Review for Archie Maddocks: Shirts Vs Skins
Poignant, inventive and razor sharp describes Archie Maddocks’ debut show at the Fringe. Shirts vs Skins, explores the conflict of being mixed race and the pressure of choosing a side. What is undeniable is Archie’s stage presence, which bolts people into the action and keeps them strapped in for the ride. From raisins to jihadis, there’s not much that isn’t deliberated in this hour.

This London comic’s show contains a balance of style and substance that leaves food for thought.
Storytelling is the style of comedy that suits Archie most and, as someone who has a talent for impersonations, the tales come to life when he becomes his characters, with sketches including the many ways he is continually mistaken for other ethnic groups (ironically enhanced by the fact he turned up dressed like a Cuban musician with a straw fedora, linen shirt etc).

Particular personas to note are his Mexican mafia casino owner, an old Arab man at a mosque and a African American telling him why he isn’t black, each with their own story illustrating Archie’s identity crisis. The most powerfully unifying moment for Archie was when he enlightened, what seemed to be fifty per cent of the audience, where prunes, raisins and sultanas came from. It was just one of his observational lines that was delivered with the winning combination of wit, stupidity and charm.

But this hour not just all about characterisation and there are two themes are clearly identifiable within this show, that of race and loneliness. Archie admits, quite refreshingly that firstly, he needs to try to no longer use race as a crutch for when things go wrong and secondly, that it’s okay to admit you’re lonely.
Nerves start appearing when Archie looks to be second-guessing his material and as a result speeds and trips over his words, causing the punchline of a joke to be weakened. The layout of the Mata Hari space at Espionage means there is often commotion taking place in the back of the room, which did seem at times to distract the comic. Ignoring the background hissing will only help to keep an audience eating out the palm of his hand.

Overall, this London comic’s show contains a balance of style and substance that leaves food for thought. Click Here

August 11, 2016  Edinburgh Festival Magazine
Archie Maddocks: Shirts vs Skins
Archie Maddocks is a treat in his new Fringe show, Shirts versus Skins. The show focuses on the struggles, and the good experiences, he’s had growing up mixed race – mainly trying to choose his own nicknames.

Maddocks really invites you into his life with hilariously random detours about his menopausal mother and witty puns galore – he really knows how to work a crowd and is effortlessly fast on his feet.

He is a natural with an audience, boldly exploring controversial topics such as race and religion. Just as you’ve tensed up, he manages to bring the energy back down with amazing skill – leaving everyone in stitches by the end of the show.

Words: Katie Mckenzie Click Here

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