Stephen K Amos: Talk Show
With Marcus Brigstocke, Shappi Khorsandi, Alun Cochrane and Catherine Bohart
Star Rating: ***
Gilded Balloon Teviot – Night Club
Edinburgh Fringe Review Date: 6th August 2019
Stephen K Amos Talk Show can be seen at the Edinburgh Fringe from 31st July 2019 – 25th August 2019, 16:00pm at Gilded Balloon Teviot – Night Club, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AJ. Tickets £14.
After 4 years away from the Edinburgh Fringe it’s great to be back in Scotland’s capital city for this year’s festival.
Seeing Fringe stalwart Stephen K Amos seemed like a good way to open my Fringe this year and the line up was a strong one so expectations were high. The Night Club venue at Gilded Balloon was not surprisingly sold out for this line up featuring Marcus Brigstocke, Shappi Khorsandi, Alun Cochrane and Catherine Bohart.
Marcus was very entertaining with his discourse on privilege and political comedy. We learnt a lot about his background and interest in developing a career in political comedy. He was one of the first following the alternative comedy scene and Tony Blair breaking the Conservative party’s stronghold on governing the UK. It was funny watching him and breifky succeeding in trying to teach SK Amos to beat box.
I was a little uncomfortable with the vivid example of racism he used to make the point about freedom of speech and crossing boundaries when discussing the role the likes of social media giants like Twitter and Facebook have regarding posts made on their sites. Even he “joked” it would have worked better if SK Amos wasn’t there. I get the point he was making and I guess he was just being an “edgy” comedian, nonetheless it came across as a bit too near the knuckle, even a tad disrespectful to do such a joke in front of and technically “using” SK Amos almost as the “innocent” butt of the joke to make the point, however well intentioned.
He has two shows running at the Fringe and he spoke mainly about ‘The Red‘ re the relationship between a father and son. The son, Benedict, has been sober for 25 years (not unlike Marcus Brigstocke himself) – how uncanny! This contrasted with his father who loved collecting, drinking and sharing wine with friends and family. “On the day of his father’s funeral, Benedict receives an unsettling final bequest: a bottle of exceptionally fine red wine. Will he drink one final toast to his father?”
Marcus Brigstocke wrote and directed this bittersweet drama of family and addiction, based on his own recovery.
Shappi Khorsandi was on fine form sharing stories of her time in the jungle in ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me out of Here’. It was funny and impressive to hear how she viewed “losing” as really winning on that show.
We learn a lot to re her family background and how she got into Stand-Up comedy – as a 4 year old child she used to be wheeled out by her father to perform impressions in front of family guests at parties. Apparently she did a very good Margaret Thatcher. I’m sure audiences would love to see this Shappi. Please revive Mrs T … for comedic, non-political purposes!
She told the story of her first live stand-up show at the sadly now defunct Comedy Cafe in Shoreditch where, upon seeing a female comedian mercilessly booed off stage before she could even utter a single word, never mind so much as one joke, led Shappi to promptly decide ‘that’s the career for me.’ As she jokingly said, perhaps that was an indication of a slight “personality disorder!”
It was revealing to hear how she felt a pressure to do political comedy considering her father’s political activism and it took many years for her to let this go and not fight the fact that political comedy in a deep, politically conscious way, wasn’t really her forte.
It was great to see SK Amos interviewing his comedy peers and hearing Shappi praising him for supporting her after some of the tough gigs she endured when starting out.
Both SK Amos and Shappi were in agreement that TV panel shows weren’t really their bag, but served a useful purpose in raising their profile and enabling them to tour nationally. Shappi is in Edinburgh with Skittish Warrior: Confessions of a Club Comic until the end of August 2019.
Alun Cochrane was another interesting guest. His heritage is a real ethnic mash up – Scottish, English, a bit of Welsh! He had a lovely calm presence and dry wit about him.
I wasn’t so enamoured by final guest Catherine Bohart who was given 5 minutes to sing a song. She had a fine voice, it’s just a pity she chose to use it on a period song that lowered the tone a little … and no I don’t mean a great old classic either!
This was a very good introduction to the festival and a 4pm show is a nice way to break up the day and find out about a wider range of acts than you might otherwise have seen.
SK Amos’s Talk show and solo shows are on in Edinburgh throughout August, as are shows by all the guests on his show. I’d highly recommend them.
Review and photographs © Tiemo Talk of the Town
Stephen K Amos Talk Show can be seen at the Edinburgh Fringe from 31st July 2019 – 25th August 2019, 16:00pm at Gilded Balloon, Teviot Place, Edinburgh EH8 9AJ. tickets £14.
- Edinburgh Fringe 2019
- Shappi Khorsandi – Skittish Warrior: Confessions of a Club Comic – Tiemo Review – 8th June 2019