Review: Stephen K Amos at the Ipswich Regent, February 13

Laughter is the best medicine.

It’s an old adage, but one which comedian Stephen K Amos used as the title for his Saturday night stand-up show.

And he certainly delivered on his promise, keeping the audience in stitches with his usual brand of irreverent observation.

Talking about everything from a recent trip Down Under to revealing that he slept through his sister’s wedding, nothing was out of bounds for the 43-year-old satirist.

And – in true stand-up style – neither was the audience, as they became just as much a part of the show as the main act.

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It was all good-natured though, as he returned throughout the night to a few favourites from the audience and showed some of his best comic ability in these off-the-cuff moments.

Despite seeming slightly uncomfortable on stage at times, Amos had no qualms about using his personal life as the basis of much of his humour.

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In reading out extracts from his recently-unearthed childhood diaries of 1982, he touched upon bigger issues of race, class and poverty – doing it all with a smile on his face.

Whether he was reliving the embarrassment of his mum buying �7 “Abibas” trainers from the market instead of the genuine version, or offering side-splitting impressions of his Nigerian-born mum and dad, he certainly carried the audience with him in remembering what it was like to grow up as one of few black children in his south-west London school.

There was some sage advice on offer too, like saving on electricity bills by doing your ironing using the plug socket on the train, or bringing along a grill to make your own snack for the journey.

It might not have been a sell-out but the show, originally performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, was a hit with the audience and proved one thing at least – laughter really is the best medicine.

Katie McGonagle

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