Reviewer: Helen Jones
There was a slight hiccup at the Lowry’s night in the current tour of Stephen K Amos. He was stuck in traffic and hadn’t arrived. However the Lowry’s own Phil Buckley (backstage staff member and gigging comedian) stepped up to the plate and gave a funny if rather graphic twenty five minute warm up routine.
While clearly unprepared, Buckley’s observational and raconteur style humour was entertaining and easily gained the audience’s support. His short set flew by in a wave of laughter and groans.
After a short interval the star of the show arrived on stage and from the get go was worth the wait. Stephen K Amos is well known now for his appearances on shows such as QI and Mock The Week, but live he is funnier and far ruder than TV allows.
Very much an observational comedian, nothing is safe from his ready wit. His own experiences and his family form a large basis for his jokes, especially his Nigerian parents and his upbringing in London. Many are made at his own expense, both due to his actions and his race, and he invites the audience to laugh with him.
He makes no effort to hide the fact that he now benefits from the trappings of his success using it in his humour with tales of business class flights to Australia and his sports car, but he always remains self effacing. He also picks on members of the audience and then continues to involve them throughout the show. At one point when an audience member needs to leave briefly, he sets up the rest of the house to play a trick on them upon their return, causing both him and the theatregoers to break down in laughter.
Heckling is invited and he bounces off the energy of the audience, sending him off at a tangent into different observations and then requests the audience’s help to get back to his original topic. A gifted mimic, he uses accents to emphasise his humour, before slipping back into his natural accent. But he is generous with his humour and time, allowing members of the audience their moment in the spotlight while keeping the show moving at a breathtaking pace.
An evening spent with Stephen K Amos is not for the easily offended. His language is peppered with swear words and his content can be close to the bone, but it is one of the funniest shows you may see.