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TV And Radio Comedy Star Proves His Live Stand-Up Mastery
As late substitutes go, there can be few more obliging, entertaining or talented than comedian Stephen K Amos. It was Stephen who saved the day at the Lichfield Garrick theatre when he was signed up as a last minute replacement for fellow comic Hal Cruttenden when Hal was forced to withdraw from the annual Lichfield Festival, which is running from July 7 to 15. Stephen self-disparagingly told the Garrick's studio theatre audience that he was the person available on a Thursday night in the "right price bracket". But that is to unfairly do himself down.
Stephen K Amos is a more than able substitute
Stephen went on to deliver a splendid one-hour stand-up show which is entitled Work In Progress. In fact, the show has an element of 'work in progress' itself as he tries out some new material prior to embarking on a mammoth UK tour with a new show that starts in November following his run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Stephen has previously said that he doesn't want to be labelled as a 'black, gay comic' and, clearly, he doesn't play too heavily on either of these issues. In fact, Stephen barely touches on his sexuality apart from the occasional 'Carry On' style innuendo, and the only time the colour of his skin gets a mention is when he briefly deals with the issue of casual racism.
Stephen trying out his new Work In Progress show
What Stephen does focus heavily on is his upbringing in a working-class area of London with seven siblings, including a twin sister, and parents who were born and raised in Nigeria before coming to England. There are some hilarious little gems in there, such as asking his dad if he'd brought him anything and being named after the hospital where he was born. Stephen also devotes a fair bit of time to splendidly engaging with his audience, in particular a 16 year old lad on the front row who was there with his mum. Stephen, who has been a regular on both national television and radio, including his BBC Radio 4 show What Does the K Stand For?, deals with a variety of other issues from the HS2 high-speed rail line which passes close to Lichfield to travelling low budget to Hungary.
Catch Stephen on his new UK show
But he also delves into the theme of his Work In Progress show, which is the growing influence and perils of social media, including the scourge of internet trolls abusing people from the safety of anonymity. He finished off his excellent performance with a few jokes from within a book which he is currently still trying out to see if they make the new stand-up show.
Rating: 9 out of 10
August 4-13, 16-20, 23-26 The Stand, Edinburgh
November 4 Birmingham Old Rep Theatre November 9 Bordon Phoenix Arts Centre November 11 Luton Library Theatre
November 12 Melton Melton Theatre
November 16 Swindon Arts Centre
November 17-18 Hemel Hempstead Old Town Hall
November 24 Bristol Redgrave Theatre
November 25 Didcot Cornerstone
November 28 Selby Town Hall
November 29 Otley Courthouse