Friday, 3 April 2015

Stephen K. Amos, 2 April 2015 ***

In Welcome to My World
At the Athenaeum Theatre, until 19 April 2015
Melbourne Comedy Festival
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Stars: ***
Review also in Herald Sun online on Fri 3 April 2015. KH.

UK comedian, Stephen K. Amos, is a regular and popular visitor to the Melbourne Comedy Festival and he pulls a large crowd of loyal followers.

Amos's warmth, energy and relaxed style are his greatest assets in his stand-up show, Welcome To My World, along with his rapid, ad-libbed repartee with the audience and his ability to turn a mistake into a joke.

His interactions with individuals who foolishly sit in the front rows, produce his biggest laughs, particularly his teasing of 20-year old Daniel, who suffers repeated quips about his safari in Kenya and his business degree.

He also gets comedy mileage from some latecomers that hail from Liverpool, a town that Amos clearly judges to be joke-worthy.

His material shifts between familiar, observational humour and inoffensive political or social commentary about Australia.

He includes barbed comments about Tony Abbott's political gaffes, gentle chiding about Australians' political apathy and our geographic isolation.

He relentlessly but playfully taunts the crowd when they don't laugh or respond aloud to his questions.

His stories range from the bad behaviour of stewards on Emirates Airlines – even at the pointy end of the plane – to his childhood rows with his seven siblings and Eddie Maguire and the Collingwood Footy Club.

He mines more material from his African roots with funny and credible impressions of his feisty mother.

He explores people's greatest fears, the number one fear for many being speaking in public, and even challenges one of his audience targets to stand up and face his fear.

Despite his easy charm and confidence, Amos seems unprepared or, at least, under-rehearsed for this show.

Although he can turn a mistake into a laugh, Amos muffs several joke set-ups and tag lines and even refers every few minutes to what appears to be a page of notes that he clutches throughout the show.

Amos ends his show with a revelation about confronting his own greatest fear that, if it is a true story, is truly disturbing but strangely funny.

By Kate Herbert

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