Fear not, this is a show for more than just the conspiracy theorists out there. Armed with a pun in the title and a range of tones to please all audiences, Archie Maddocks has put together an enjoyable collection of anecdotes for his Edinburgh Festival Fringe debut; it just needs a bit more polish to really shine.
Maddocks is a good entertainer, and I hope that his set only continues to improve.
From escapades in South Africa to living with both mother and girlfriend, this is fairly easy-going material with a good structure. Leaning casually on his mic stand, Maddocks gives the impression of relaxing into his set, laughing with us and handling more disruptive members of the audience confidently without being rude. I particularly enjoyed several strong characters who were created out of nowhere, delivered with a self-assured confidence that brought belly laughs to the room.
There’s a sense of a scattered mind here, especially in the first half of the set: sentences begin strongly but tend to digress and don’t always arrive where they are supposed to, often leaving a weaker punchline than intended. The stories themselves are great fun, and it’s only when Maddocks loses control of the narrative in this way that the pace begins to fall flat. It’s also confusing that the climax of the show is revealed on the back of the flyer, which removes any sense of suspense from what could have been an outrageous finale.
Overall, this set still feels very self-aware – Maddocks makes references to using audience members as his back-up, and seems to have a lack of confidence in his ability to keep the crowd on his side, which in itself reveals a lack of trust in letting us enjoy his set. It’s a shame, because I really enjoyed the material itself, which dances the line of innuendo with some excellent one-liners. It's a free show and definitely worth a chance; Maddocks is a good entertainer, and I hope that his set only continues to improve.