Stephen K Amos can make light of any situation. Be it the global financial crisis, the US elections, the Prince of Wales or even his own father, Amos has the decisive ability to create mirth from mire. He calls this ‘finding the funny’, and indeed this is the core of his latest stand-up show.
This English comedian of Jamaican heritage shot to fame after his debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2001. Amos has since been an annual feature of the Edinburgh Fringe, going on to tour the UK and Australia. A regular feature on Australian television programs Spicks and Specks, Good News Week and Thank God You’re Here, Amos’ killer punchlines and punchy attitude have clearly won him a loyal audience in this country. This March, Amos returns to Australian shores once more as a feature in both the Melbourne Comedy Festival, and the inaugural Brisbane Comedy Festival at Brisbane Powerhouse.
Amos’ stage personality is so vibrant that it cannot be contained on the stage. As he slides on stage, shaking his booty to Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’, his vivacious attitude spills over into the audience, sparking dancing in the seats and enthusiastic clapping in the balconies. Amos develops his already existing audience connection with fairly extensive audience interaction. As he mingles with the family in the front row, or the 19 year old uni students, you get the feeling he really does want to remember each individual show as something unique. A lot of the playfulness of Amos’ humour comes from the witty side remarks he throws at various audience members who essentially become extra characters in his show.
Amos combines his quick wit with clever dissertation on current affairs and personal experiences. This well structured one-man show is a great blend of script and improvisation. The topical humour covers a wide range of subjects, but the show is not without its poignant moments as well. While Amos encourages us to ‘find the funny’ in situations such as racism, disapproving parents, and the ‘credit crunch’, he also believes we are not without hope.
It has to be said, and even Amos himself would agree, that some of the most amusing parts of the production came from moments so entirely unpredictable that the man himself was reveling in their randomness. Two particularly stand-out moments were derived from hecklers – one throwing in a comment about stage lighting and morse code, causing the guys in the lighting box to respond on their own accord, and another involving a heckler who just really didn’t have a clue. As Amos himself pointed out, the hecklers can say whatever they want, but it is what he responds with that people will laugh at. And laugh they did. Amos even asked for a tally of laughter to be kept throughout the show. Apparently we laughed somewhere around 500 times within about 75 minutes. If that’s not a great KPI, I don’t know what is!
Stephen K Amos is definitely one of the best comedic talents on the circuit. Do not miss out on your chance to see this brilliantly funny man live.
Brisbane Powerhouse and Mary Tobin presents
Stephen K Amos
Find the Funny!
Venue: Powerhouse Theatre
Dates: Thu 26 - Sat 28 Mar 09
Tickets: Full $36, Conc $32, s/galleries $27