Nina D. Flanagan says…

The Spokesman is not for the easily offended. Maybe we should just say it’s for the hard to offend. It’s part of Amos’s charm that he is so comfortable on stage that he can converse with the audience and improvise, but the charm tarnishes a little when most of that improvising translates to verbally bashing up the first few rows. That said, the only tears in the crowd were from laughter.

Amos’s particular brand of humour is divisive, characterised by tearing other people to pieces. Everyone rated a mention: Darwin, Brisbane, Melton, Footscray, parts of London, politicians, a priest, the list goes on. This cast of villains is likely to change depending on who piques his interest on any particular night, and who in the audience inspires him.

Unlike other performers who pick a theme for the night and stick closely to their planned set, Amos performed a show that was as relaxed as if he was making it up as he went along. There were only a few occasional references to why he wouldn’t make a good spokesman, one supposes to prove he has read his own advertising material. One of the only obviously planned parts of the show saw Amos elect a spokesman for himself from the audience, and she could barely read the scripted statement through her laughter.

Amos does what he does well, and he knows his audience. He presents a savage style of take-no-prisoners comedy that doesn’t take itself (or anyone else) too seriously. The audience were roaring, and Amos proved repeatedly he could make the crowd laugh with a single word.

Stephen K. Amos in The Spokesman is on at the Athenaeum Theatre, 8:30pm Tues – Sat, 7:30pm Sun until April 21st.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey