Sitting into a dark room, crammed with many other eagerly awaiting strangers, Stephen K Amos enters, his booming voice announcing his talk show and diving into some sarcasm-laced material about the Fringe – he has earned the right to poke fun at the Festival, performing here every year since 2003. Tonight we are witnessing his talk-show, which has become a regular in Edinburgh, with a combination of different acts to interview and preview.
Enjoyable and is a safe bet
Amos is known for getting his audience involved. The great thing about his style is that he doesn’t overly criticise or offend audience members, he doesn’t “pick on them,” but he pokes fun in a way that stays light-hearted.
His guests change every evening, and today he had a selection of stand-ups, an actor and a musical number to entertain us. Sometimes, the guests aren’t as interesting or entertaining as Amos himself, he is skilled at bringing these situations round to create an enjoyable performance. At times, Amos did seem to drag answers out of his guests unnecessarily. I’d rather have heard more jokes from Amos than listen to these attempts to what felt like filling time.
In between his interviews and discussions with various acts, Amos gave us some of his darker humour, which resonates well – a veteran of Edinburgh he can make us all feel comfortable and is incredibly relatable, dropping names and places in Edinburgh that we all know.
Even when presented with acts who were less well received by the audience, Amos uses his wit and sarcastic and camp humour to make us giggle – it sometimes reminded me of being at school with your friend who made fun of the teacher behind their back! (I mean this in a good way!)
Although his questioning and interviewing skills were spot on, I’d have loved to see more from Amos himself, and more anecdotes interjected into his talk show style. The show was enjoyable and is a safe bet at the Fringe.