Interestingly, I felt something was slightly different about Amos’ performance manner tonight. I have seen him perform several times before and usually he is a byword in relaxed, even casual insouciance. This evening he seemed slightly more uptight and his bantering interplay featured a lot of requests for audience response. Though he has never shied away from the f-word there was a lot more usage here, along with a great deal of the usual brilliant facial mugging and physical comedy.
Saturday night in Perth: “Were we up for laughs?” The vociferous response should have settled any doubts on his part. After a round of congratulations on Aussie sporting triumphs of late. Cheating at cricket and swimming wins at the Commonwealth Games where 10/9 swimmers were Aussies! (OK, no more spoiler alerts!)
There were interesting riffs on being the child of parents from another country. Like many of our politicians, Amos’ parents came from a different country in which he was born, Nigeria. Understandably they were “poor”, so he has decided to award himself a few treats. An hilarious example of another man’s incredibly foolish self-indulgence followed.
The Roman directive: “give the people what they want, bread and circuses.” introduced some bon mots on Donald Trump. The circuses topic also encompassed Black Panther movie references which were received with raucous mirth by the younger men in the audience.
A wonderful topical highlight was the deadpan “Special Announcement” from people of colour re the impending nuptials of Prince Harry and Megan Markle.
The “bread” of the show title encompassed issues of gluten intolerance, matters of taste and feeding wildlife as well as human consumption. It was very clever.
Briefly interacting with a 16 year old school boy in the audience, Amos revealed a deeper, indeed moving, note on hope for youth and their future. Work harder, strive for what you want, believe in yourself.
Earlier Amos referenced the “dumbing down” influence of Australian TV. Ever the showman, he sent us home with his interpretation of two classic Australian advertisements. Screamingly funny and wincingly accurate.
2018 Perth Comedy Festival
Bread and Circuses
Stephen K Amos
Venue: Regal Theatre, Perth WA
Dates: 28 – 29 April 2018