FRESH from a successful stint at the Edinburgh Fringe, Stephen K Amos brings his Welcome To My World tour to the Regal in Evesham on Friday, February 20.
And ahead of his performance, the Observer caught up with popular comic to find out more about his new show.
STEPHEN K Amos doesn’t strike you as one of life’s awkward customers. But that’s exactly what he is aiming to be in his new touring show, Welcome To My World.
Having had enough of being asked the same questions time and time again, such as ‘what does the K stand for?’, Amos is looking to get some new, big questions on the table.
“Even in this day and age, we still don’t like to talk about things like race and sexuality or how much money you earn, all those awkward dinner party conversation fillers.” he said.
“There’s a certain weirdness that can spark up in those areas and that gives me a springboard to be awkward within the show and ask the audience the awkward, challenging questions.”
World affairs is something that’s currently playing on Amos’ mind and he’s not going to shy away from getting a measure of his crowd’s opinion on prickly contemporary issues.
“Bearing in mind what’s going on with Russia at the moment, where they’re going into Ukraine and grabbing bits of a country that was once theirs, I wonder why the world is reacting the way it has?.” he said.
“Is the reason we’re not properly taking Russia to task is that they’re a superpower and a big danger to us, so we’re just paying them lip service?
“How would the world react if the indigenous people of Australia tried to claim what is theirs rightfully?”
Issues a little closer to home are also stretching Amos’ patience, and he’ll be posing more tough questions about the current political landscape in Britain.
“At the recent European elections, there was a move to the far right. Over here, it seemed like UKIP was the only party running in the elections.
“On TV, radio and in print, it was all about them. And all I can gather from their policies is that they have views on immigration and Europe, and nothing else.
“Yet people have rushed to make this protest vote. I’d like to think it’s a flash in the pan, and we’ve now seen what happens when people don’t exercise their fundamental right to vote.
“But history has taught us that wake-up calls don’t always get heeded.”
All of which sounds rather serious and somewhat un-Amos like. But don’t worry, the London comic knows full well how to play to his strengths.
“Ultimately, my main focus is that they’ve got to laugh.” he added.
“The people who come to my shows are, generally speaking, the converted, so there’s no point in me just telling them about race and politics and getting all this applause, that’s just pointless.
Since he arrived on the comedy scene back in 2001, Amos has had no problem with facilitating the sound of laughter in every room he’s appeared in.
He’s had a string of acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe stand-up shows such as All Of Me and Find The Funny, acted on the West End alongside Christian Slater and Frances Barber in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and had his own entertainment shows on TV and radio.
But like many UK acts who have conquered their own country, eyes naturally turn to the US.
“I’m going there for maybe three months to get a lot of stuff under my belt.” he said.
“One of the main things is to put yourself out there and get yourself known; my goal is to get onto the late night comedy shows because they have yet to see a black British comic on there.
“I don’t want to jinx myself or sound big-headed but I would absolutely kill it!.
So, given he’s tried his hand successfully at stand-up, acting and presenting, is there anything left for him to try? How about his own TV chat show?
“I think we are due a black talk show host. We had such fun doing it in Edinburgh and I think I’m good with people, a very good listener and I can run with stuff that happens in the moment.
“And I’m not one of those cruel comics.”
No, just a seemingly effortless, naturally funny one.