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‘I started doing stand-up because I was in an improvised play and a comedy promoter came up to me after and told me my mind was weird. I was like what’s that meant to mean mate? He said I should try stand-up.

 

'So my first gig was in Westminster at the Red Lion pub for Electric Mouse. That was the end of July 2012.’

 

July 2012 places Archie Maddocks at just over 4 years old in stand-up years and as soon as he was out of the blocks he started clocking up some serious competition mileage.

 

By the same time the following year he had reached the semi finals of the Leicester Square New Act Competition, Amused Moose Laugh Off and SYTYF, the final of the Squawkers and had won the Comedy Store Manchester King Gong.

Photography: Tom Leishman

Then in 2014 he was joint winner at the Bath New Act Competition and a NATYS finalist.

‘In my journey, competitions have been very important, and they have helped me to get to where I am at the speed that I have. Competitions have had a lot to do with it. Promoters came to see me. Agents came to see me. It also gives you an added bit of confidence and a bit of backing.

 

'It’s not the be-all and end-all though. You’ve still got to work hard and come up with the stuff.’

 

Did Archie’s theatre background put him in good stead then? Where is the line between performing as a character in the theatre and performing as yourself as a stand-up?

 

‘A lot of people always said I was really confident and I was well, I used to be an actor. Nerves were never a thing for me. As a stand-up I’m really a version of myself. I’m playing a certain side of me, not an entirely separate character. I’m not sure I buy into that thing of having to find your voice. I think for stand-up you have to be you, or at least a version of you that you are willing to expose to people. The version of me that works onstage is more relaxed and conversational whilst I’m probably more angry off stage than on.’

On the subject of milestones tell us a bit about the exciting Edinburgh debut!

 

‘Shirts vs Skins is a show about identity through the eyes of someone who is mixed race. If you are mixed race you still have to pick a team when you are growing up. Mixed race itself sits between two entities. It isn’t its own thing and you have to choose between those entities and decide which one you are a part of.

 

'This show is about when I started to perceive race and why, and then why I started to behave the way I did. At the end I come to the realisation that race doesn’t matter. It’s just a stupid thing that you base your life and your decisions around.

 

'I realise in the show that I use race as a crutch to lean on if things aren’t going my way. I’ll find a race-related reason for that thing happening and I use race as an excuse.’