Stephen K Amos at The HexagonBy Phil Creighton
February 23, 2011
Laughter is the best medicine. You know the saying and numerous surveys seem to bear it out: tickling your funny bones is a great tonic. And when it comes to dishing out the treatment, Stephen K Amos is ready to be your joke doctor.
The comedian is returning to The Hexagon on Friday for his latest tour, promising to hand out his medicine of choice: an evening of intelligent wit, autobiographical stories and rib-tickling jokes.
Friday’s one-night stand is part of a long tour that sees him criss-cross the country and, as Stephen is a profilic Tweeter (you can find him at @stephenkamos), you can keep tabs on how he’s getting on.
Just before we chat, his latest Tweet comes the morning after a gig in Buxton. “Thanks to the Buxton crew,” he notes. “Don’t remember much and can’t find my shoes!”
We settle down for our telephone chat – well actually cool-as-a-cucumber Stephen is already settled.
I catch him en route to the airport for a flight to Dublin for a gig that night before heading back to the UK for a gig in Basingstoke. This week, he’s also been to Hull, Liverpool and Southend. After Reading, he’s off to St Albans. And he’s living out of a suitcase until the end of May. Stephen is a popular man.
Clearly primed for the ‘what’s your favourite colour?’ questions that some local newspaper interviewers tend to ask, I wrongfoot the star by asking straight off if he ever did find his shoes. There’s a broad chuckle at the other end of the line and you can picture his smile. This is clearly a story with a happy ending.
“I did, thank you very much, that made me laugh,” he says of the question. “Yes, I did find my shoes in Buxton. It was very awkward!”
Part of the show focuses on his teenage years and includes Stephen reading excerpts from his diary. It’s this unveiling of his formative days that becomes almost a therapy, not just for himself but for his audiences too.
“Some of the things you look back on and cringe – but the whole idea is that you should be able to look back on them and laugh at them,” he says.
“Some bits of that period of my life weren’t particularly cheerful and happy, and I think ‘Oh my goodness’ and can see how I’ve learnt as a person, as a human being.
This has hit a nerve with his audience.
“I think a lot of people have had similar experiences.”
Stephen continues “Someone said to me, ‘Isn’t it just teenage angst?’”
“But you can lose the word teenage and you also have that angst – the anxieties of you know, a new job, a new relationship, a new house, you know.
“All those things you go through as a teenager – you dismiss as just teenage angst and rebellion but you still experience those things as you get older. They don’t go away.”
Stephen is known for his laid-back personality. Surely he’s more like a duck – looking graceful above the water but paddling furiously underneath the surface?
“That’s a very good question,” he says. “We all do to a certain extent.
“I do try and have that deposition about myself and I do have the air of someone very confident.
“Yeah, we all have trials and tribulations.”
Stephen loves performing live.
“There’s no better tonic for a comic than going out on the road, and making people laugh,” he says.
And he’s keen to share that medicine with you.
Stephen K Amos will be at The Hexagon on Friday night.
Tickets cost £18.50. For details, call 0118 960 6060 or log on to www.readingarts.com