Concluding Adelaide’s bustling Fringe season, British stand up comedian Stephen K Amos graced the Arts theatre stage last Thursday with his new show, The Story So Far. Combining his knowledge of world issues with a personal account of his past tribulations made for an hour of captivating entertainment.
Beginning the show with a jovial tone, Amos exchanged banter with the crowd, slanting Adelaide as largely unchanged since his last visit. Perhaps what made the show so successful was his tendency to speak from experience, focusing largely on topics that he was either well informed or passionate about.
Touching on the truly unique nature of Australian culture by poking fun at the humble bogan and attempting the stereotypical Aussie accent, the comedian immediately built a rapport with the audience.
As the show progressed his light-hearted delivery continued despite the mention of Donald Trump, Gollywogs, and other references to the unenviable turmoil of society. However, in a testament to his optimistic outlook, such topics were delivered comedically thanks to his quick wit and satirical humour.
Reminiscing on his childhood memories, Amos nostalgically recounted the influence of his large, tightknit family, attributing his current success to their support. He retrospectively thanked his father, who worked exceptionally hard to juggle three jobs in order to provide for his wife and eight children. Family was a recurring theme during the show, demonstrating just how influential they have been throughout his life.
Things took a solemn twist when he revealed the passing of his mother and twin sister within the span of two years; such heart-wrenching tragedy was responsible for completely breaking its least suspecting victim. While the emphasis on his resulting emotional anguish was brief, he made his pain clear; yet instead of focusing solely on his heartbreak, he reinforced the importance of comedy as an emotional aid.
Amos attributed his dedication to comedy, and more specifically The Story So Far show, to the joy it brings both himself and his audience. Acknowledging that everyone deals with their own inner turmoil, he admitted there was nothing more rewarding than being able to bring laughter to those who need it most, even if only for a moment.
Amos’ ability to address a myriad of social injustices and taboo topics in a humorous manner, while managing to convey words of encouragement and inspiration, was exactly what made this show so entertaining. A thoroughly enjoyable and interactive performance, this heart-warming set was a highlight of this year’s Fringe Festival.
Words by Taylor Siemelink