Jamali Maddix: Chickens Come Home to Roost
A stunted performance from an act with clear talent
Jamali Maddix won the Chortle Student Comedy Award in 2014 and has honed his skills on BBC One's The John Bishop Show as well supporting Jim Jefferies. Now Chickens Come Home to Roost is his debut Fringe hour.
Crowd work is a real artform. Unfortunately it's one that Maddix has yet to perfect. His mocking banter is funny at first but soon gets repetitive. Constantly berating us for not laughing enough or getting into the show, it's almost as though he's pushing the audience away rather than drawing us in. It disrupts the flow and feels like filler. Tell us jokes: don't tell us off.
This is all a little frustrating as the actual material is strong. Maddix philosophises on race, slavery, immigration and feminism, a couple of his points are brilliantly sharp, highlighting some uncomfortable truths from a fresh and unexpected perspective.
The final ten minutes really show Maddix's true potential. There's an honesty to his closing routine about his relationships with his mum and his former best mate (plus a dodgy encounter with a brick-wielding pensioner) that hint at the true heights Maddix is capable of.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 29 Aug, 8.15pm, £8--£10 (£7--£9).