Stephen K Amos - a man of many faces
Stephen K Amos
Haverhill Arts Centre, November 17.
Review by Steve Barton
Having long looked forward to watching one of my all-time favourite stand-ups in action, I was not to go away from this show disappointed.
Amos is an internationally renowned comedian of many years standing - a quick search on You Tube will reveal that much - who is also famed for involving the audience in his shows.
As one of the few well-known black British comedians on the circuit it is inevitable that his skin colour will play a big part in his material and so it proved at the arts centre, although it was never gratuitous.
One of his opening gambits went like this: “Have you heard the news, a negro is in town. Bring the children.”
The audience found this hilarious, not simply for what he said, but also because of the way he said it.
Amos is a master at using facial expression, intonation, asides, body language and gestures to embellish his act and it was often these qualities that made his material so much funnier.
He played on his encounters with racial stereotyping, as well as his own upbringing as one of eight children born to Nigerian parents, for laughs, and they always worked - even if a handful of the gags had been used before.
He also drew on many other areas of society and life, such as the prevalence of social media and the internet in everyday life, and its frequent misuse by many and the problems it can lead to, particularly among the younger generation.
Three of the younger generation among the audience were singled out for particular attention by Amos - and hats off to George, Oliver and Callum for taking what he threw at you so gamely.
Amos touched briefly on his sexuality, declaring he has been single for three-and-a-half years, adding: “My friends say to me, Steve, what kind of man shall we get for you, I said, do you know what, maybe a man in uniform.
“Barry from B&Q was not what I had in mind.”
A 70 minutes set flew by and the additional ten minutes of encore material was worth the entry fee alone.
I could have sat there for twice as long and not have felt like it was too much. It really was that good.