An evening with Stephen K Amos (his name really does need the middle initial for that element of music) is a gregarious affair. Anyone who appreciates the ability to produce an incessant patter of ribald comments, a few political twists thrown in and of course making our dear south Australian neighbour seem even more insular and parochial than normal – will love this British comedian.
Amos’ 2013 show, The Spokesman chronicles his reflections and arguments upon why precisely being a spokesman would be a terrible thing – especially for those he was representing.
Yes indeed, Amos may not be Obama or Jesus (though he is quick to point out the similarities) and his abilities to narrowly avoid racism seems to teeter on a precarious ledge. He confesses, insists and adamantly refuses to be a spokesman for any group or team and the night is held together through his anecdotal wanderings as he discusses this important position.
Towards the end of the night, Amos whipped out a list of responses that had been given by audience members as to what group Amos would be suitable to represent. The suggestions ranged from cricket teams in Queensland to those whose ‘faces don’t match their voice’ to projects in Frankston! Melbourne certainly gave a range of wonderful, if occasionally inappropriate responses.
And just imagine what an Adelaide audience would have said. Actually, don’t worry because Amos having visited this penal out post for the last seven years tells his audience all about his adventures in Adelaide, and even the sojourn as far up north as Darwin and his interactions with the sophisticated providers of alcohol.
One of the highlights of comedy shows is audience involvement. If you are sitting in the first few rows, you should be expected to be singled out. Perhaps even mocked, ridiculed. One unfortunate who arrived at the show alone (even though he insisted he had a girl-friend) provided Amos, and therefore the packed audience in the Athenaeum, with an endless stream of pithy derogatory jokes at this young man’s expense. Yes, we laughed.
If the audience appeared to be initially rather hesitant to get involved, this is perhaps natural after only imagining people writhe in fear in the front row – Amos’ remonstration that this was a ‘live performance’ and ‘not broadcast by satellite television’ soon melted people’s inhibitions.
In fact, Amos was so enamoured with the audience that the last half-an-hour (extra!) of the show was devoted to revisiting old favourites, jokes of course, from years gone by.
With his witty aphorisms, dexterous facial expressions and a swag of sound effects Stephen K Amos is a fabulous spokesman, as a comedian, an unforgettable character and for that one individual he certainly won’t be forgetting his experience in a hurry.