Comedy Festival Review: Stephen K Amos

By Paul Simei-Barton

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Stephen K. Amos. Photo / Supplied
Stephen K. Amos. Photo / Supplied

Strutting on stage with gangsta swag and greeting the audience in a posh English accent, Stephen K Amos embodies the fluid, mashed-up sense of identity that characterises globalism in a digital age.

The incongruous cross-currents of dual British-Nigerian heritage offer a rich source of anecdotes and provide a free-fire zone for some hilarious jibes at a grab-bag of ethnic types.

Australians in general get a real roasting. His scatter-shot presentation encompasses everyone from Thai barmaids through to Nigerian monarchists but Amos prides himself on avoiding tasteless stereotypes and in a sharp demonstration of having it both ways serves up a taster of the kind of ethnic slurs that he excludes from his show.

Amos has the easy-going confidence of a stand-up veteran who is at the top of his game and prepared material is readily abandoned in favour of quick-witted improvisations sparked by conversation with the audience.

A recent immigrant from Scotland became the springboard for a wildly inventive riff on Scottish manners that ended with Amos claiming to be the last king of Scotland, and an obliging Kiwi family were treated to an experience that could haunt them for years to come.

The in-the-moment approach fits neatly with Amos' belief that the best comedy comes from real-life encounters, but anyone in the front row should bring a willingness to laugh at themselves.

Stephen K Amos is at the SkyCity Theatre until tomorrow.

- NZ Herald

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