20th November 2013, Stephen K Amos – The Spokesman, Exeter Corn Exchange

Tom Hanks Pees

Our 250th show of 2014 was a bonus courtesy of tickets won via Twitter competition by Comedy South West (http://comedysouthwest.webs.com/) and the Corn Exchange. So a big thanks to them. It was an appropriate show, bearing in mind I have made an anagram of everyone we have seen this year, as the title of this show ‘The Spokesman’ is simply an anagram of Stephen K Amos as is my title for this blog.

We got there to find the audience was considerably smaller than that for Adam Hills the previous night, but still respectable for a Wednesday evening.

We also found we had a bonus in the shape of a support act in Paul F. Taylor (O Artful Play). We have not seen Paul do a solo spot before, apart from MCing a show in Totnes over a year ago. But we have seen him two years running in Edinburgh as part of the rather splendid sketch duo Short & Curly along with Rebecca Shorrocks. Their shows have been silly, fun and memorable and we hope we get to see them again in 2014. Paul himself is equally surreal and quite superb with some silly gags and daft observations. Worth our 100+ mile round trip for this alone. (It is also worth watching the series of short sketch shows with Paul and Nick Helm, another of our favourite acts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEdLvhN5FdM&list=PLxggddpIvXga_G9mfFrDEBqsPEBhU06sI&index=1)

During the break, Stephens tour manager was getting the audience to fill out on a piece of paper for whom or what Stephen should be a spokesman.

Stephen came on and was full of gentle observations. His humour is accessible to all. He focused on talking to two audience members both called Ben. The first was a university student who was there with a new girlfriend. Stephen ribbed them over their burgeoning relationship, and having a dig or two at the girlfriend, also a student, who seemed awfully posh. The second Ben was a 15-year schoolboy there with his mum, so also drew a lot of good natured flak, apart from when he confessed to us all that his favourite comic was Michael McIntyre which drew some scathing comments!

A lot of Stephens observations are family based, with his Nigerian/British dual nationality. Some of this we had heard before when we caught him at a late show in Edinburgh. But it was all good natured engaging stuff and he also does a nice line in taking off others accents.

The final part of the show involved reading out what the audience had written in the break. This didn’t really work as there were very few suggestions with any humour in them. Finally, an audience member was voted on to come up on stage and read out a prepared statement from Stephen apologising for a number of naughty things he had done. Not surprisingly the younger Ben won this honour.

An enjoyable show, nothing mind-blowing, but well worth the long trip to Exeter again.

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