Looking back on the past decade of his career, Stephen K Amos and his new show The Story So Far… delighted Melbourne audiences with hilarious takes on family, politics, social movements and loss. Featuring a selection of some of his most loved jokes together with an abundance of new material, the show certainly is a look at the story of the British comedian’s life so far.
The show was packed to the rafters with people of all ages, ready to start their weekend with a laugh from the huge international headliner. Looking cool and comfortable onstage, Amos jumped in with a few jokes about Australian politics and the 2011 banana shortage crisis, a throwback that got the crowd suitably loosened up and saw some audience interaction with the front row.
Amos’ skills at improvisation are where he really shines. Bantering back and forth with a shy but up-for-a-laugh carpenter named Tyler – a profession that sent Amos into fits of laughter – produced the first of many rambunctious reactions for the evening. For the following hour, Amos continued to come back to Tyler the carpenter, especially whenever a suggestive ‘wood’ joke appeared.
It’s clear that Amos’ exceptional skills at improvisation and audience interaction are the results of his many years of experience. It’s the kind of top-notch creativeness you’d only get from a comedy superstar.
Amos also includes a plethora of Australia-themed anecdotes, from arguing about the harsh Australian heat with a true-blue bogan to visiting the tiny “village” of Tasmania — another observation that received a mighty cheer from the mainland audience. Oddly enough, Amos is a master at replicating the ocker Australian accent, a stark contrast to his usual posh English enunciation.
Masterfully switching from family life to discussing armed Americans, Trump and the #MeToo movement showed just how smooth Amos’ delivery is. At some points, the audience seemed to shuffle nervously whenever a controversial issue appeared until Amos expertly turned it on its head and released the tension. Nothing ever feels forced or out of place in the show, a testament to just how comfortable Amos is behind the mic.
Nearing the end of the show, Amos discusses the past few years of his life, especially the tragic loss of his beloved mother and twin sister. As sobering as the topic was, Amos approached it with his usual wit and finesse to avoid losing the energy he built through the past hour. Appearing at the end of the show to greet the crowd and collect donations for local palliative care charities, Amos not only gave the audience a righteous laugh but also the opportunity to help a cause that is close to his heart.
Highlight: Amos’ incredibly accurate Australian accent.
Lowlight: The awkwardness of some of the Trump-related observations.
Crowd favourite: The myriad of carpentry-related jokes he was able to improvise while interacting with the audience.
By Eliza Booth