Award-winning Archie Maddocks presents an hour of biting, provocative, unflinchingly funny comedy where he explores his deepest and darkest thoughts, exposes his flaws and interrogates his personal connection to Grenfell Tower.  Fresh from a stint in the BBC Writersroom, having previously toured South Africa and Europe, this ‘super cool, super smart storyteller’ (Bruce Dessau, BeyondTheJoke.co.uk and Evening Standard) hilariously explores life, love and loss with a candid authenticity, marking him out as a ‘real highlight’ (BBC Introducing).

Having come across Archie Maddocks for the first time last August, I added him to my list of shows to look for this time round.  I’m glad he did because this was a great way to spend an hour.  For a start, I have never laughed so much at the use of the word amateur in my life.  He appreciated that more than my fellow audience members though.  He also revealed the most disgusting thing to do to a banana that I’ve ever heard about.  Maddocks also covers slightly less glib issues, such as how comfortable or not he is with his body, wiping your bottom and diet preferences.  He also talks about his relationships with the two most important women in his life – his mother and girlfriend – but without resorting to lazy and tired clichés.  Well done that man.

The show also gives you an insight into growing up in north-west London, specifically St John’s Wood, in the Eighties and Nineties.  That struck a chord as I’m Paddington born and bred, the neighbouring area, albeit form an earliest decade.  I know the area well but moved away as he was becoming a teen so it’s interesting seeing it through his eyes.  However, you do not need to have any knowledge of London to enjoy hearing about these experiences or indeed the show as a whole.  Archie is a solid, funny young comedian and I thoroughly enjoyed his show and the section on Grenfell Tower was moving and hard to hear at times.  Everything he said about the tragedy rings true and reflects what happened and is still happening to the residents of the block and surrounding area.

I do have a couple of (minor) complaints though.  I think he needs to show more confidence in his material and drop the opening five minutes.  For somebody of his talent to still do a ‘Who are you & what do you do?’ section seems a waste, although he does at least incorporate the answers throughout the show.  Maddocks is a good comedian but needs to ditch this habit if he wants to move up a notch.  He’s more than capable of doing that and I hope to see next August that he has.  I’d also have liked the final section to have lasted longer, although it might have thrown off the balance of the show.  Either way, you should take the time to see Matchstick and Archie Maddocks confirmed that he is a talented comedian worth keeping an eye on.

This show is also in part a fund-raiser for the Grenfell Tower campaign.  You can also do that directly via the Grenfell Tower Leaseholders Association or the Justice4Grenfell community-led coalition.  Please do, these people deserve justice.