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Review of Archie Maddocks: Big Dick Energy at Edinburgh Fringe

Archie Maddocks: Big Dick Energy
Archie Maddocks: Big Dick Energy

It was a good idea at the time, Archie Maddocks reflects, calling his comedy show Big Dick Energy – after all, one has to call it something to stand out from the sheer plethora of shows available for Edinburgh Fringe punters. He used to have (more or less) the monopoly on mixed race (his description of himself) – but now Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor has come along and stolen the limelight. Having expressed his irritation, this segues well into a discussion about how things are done in the United States as opposed to the way in which things are done in the United Kingdom.

British superheroes would most likely be closer to Averageman than Superman, and too many risk assessments and other questions would preclude a swift rescue of anyone from anything.

Transposing American attitudes directly into British culture would have consequences that don’t bear thinking about (even if Maddocks would like, hypothetically, to have a silent disco shot at). The rapport with the audience begins even before the show, with enthusiastic invitations to those arriving first to sit further forward, and from start to finish, Maddocks is relentlessly observant of both everyday life situations and the audience reactions to his ‘tell it like it is’ approach.

A lot of themes and topics are packed into this show, including the concept of ‘black people’s timing’ – something which at least one of Maddocks’ relatives wears on his sleeve. He’s one of those people that likes to talk about race, and then likes to see just how uncomfortable people in the audience get. (Not very, at least not at the performance I attended, Fringe audiences being relatively unassuming anyway.) There is the occasional ‘dick joke’ thrown in, too, ostensibly to justify the show’s title. Maddocks is skilful enough to make us laugh at the lyrics of R Kelly, and all things considered, this was a lively and engaging comedy hour.

4 stars

Review by Chris Omaweng

It’s all getting a bit serious init? Political instability, social politics making people less social – you can’t even have a finger of Nutella no more without feeling guilty – that’s what life is now, guilt, followed by shame. However, what is life, if nothing but a distraction until you die? Archie Maddocks returns to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019 to tackle the struggles of being alive in his latest hour of provocative, exhilarating and *crucially* HILARIOUS stand up.


Thursday 1st August – Sunday 25th August (not 12th), 4.50pm


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