Stephen K Amos
Star rating: ****
Soho Downstairs, SohoTheatre
Review: Tuesday 10th March 2015
Tue 10 – Sat 21 Mar, 7.30pm
Booking and further information
£15 (£12.50) Tue-Thu, £17.50 (£15) Fri-Sun
If you like jelly babies you’ll enjoy this show. ‘Welcome to the world of Stephen K Amos’, written and performed by the one man who knows his innermost thoughts and world better than anyone else, who else but Mr Stephen K Amos.
I like the title. It sounds rather grand and indicates there’s something of substance, something rather crazy we’re going to be allowed to peek inside. Which he does to an extent, but he doesn’t really let the audience to get too far into his world. Then again, is not that what many comedians or musicians for that matter are doing when they go on stage or give interviews?
One of the main themes of the show is that of looking into what he called, ‘awkward places’. No, not those! He had three specific areas of focus. Multi-culturalism, “the talk” and sexuality. Three very interesting and topical subjects indeed.
He generated laughter as he examined each topic, but he didn’t really explore them in any great depth, in the manner in which say Reginald D Hunter or Stewart Lee would have, but he went there sufficiently to open up the subject matter for wider discussion and the possibilities therein. Though it could have been better if he had explored the issues in greater depth, in an hour long show and in the spirit of this, after all being a comedy show, he chose not to.
A key message he was getting across was that it’s good to talk to one another and as one thing to take away from the show, that’s fine. He’s not on stage to lecture.
What he did brilliantly was prove himself a master of working a crowd and delivering terrific, uncomplicated, feel good comedy. 20 year old Felix and his 20 year old mates were comedy gold in SK Amos’s hands. He included them in his act, but didn’t embarrass them, which was wonderful to see.
He dealt with the odd heckler very well, but some gently gave as good as they got so it made for good all round laughter, which is exactly what everybody had come out for.
SKA’s world is one very well travelled international comedian. He seems to have an amusing story about every city he’s played, whether that’s here in England or abroad. We had a couple of guys from Melbourne sat in the front row. SKA’s tours there annually and will be returning there next month. He drew on stories that they identified with and even brought out a purchase from a Melbourne shopping trip, which if the audience hadn’t seen for themselves might have found somewhat hard to believe such a product exists.
International touring adds to the wealth of funny stories and material SKA has to draw on, so his audiences are ultimately the beneficiaries.
As always he comes across as a great ad libber, a warm and pretty affable, easy going guy. Though prone to a little testiness if he doesn’t like the heckle’s, that’s alright and keeps it real, so to speak. I loved the hilarious line re his definition of love. Not necessarily one you’d expect to hear from an agony aunt or uncle, but on point and absolutely hilarious all the same.
As I said in my introduction, if you like jelly babies you’ll love this show. There’s a great mix of jokes, storytelling and riffing with the audience and finding the funny within those present. A fine show from a performer at ease on stage doing his job very well – telling jokes and making people laugh. Stand-up comedy doesn’t get much better than this.
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