Stephen K. AmosThere was a decidedly festive air to Stephen K. Amos’ last show of the year at the ‘Go-ring Village Hall’ as Gap Comedy extended its alumni of British comedy heroes. We’ve been treated to a number of well-known comedians in the 5 years since Gap comedy first began, but few as assured or endearing. Almost certainly the first headlining act at Goring village hall in a tartan jacket and do-rag, Amos had a mischievous and infectious energy; full of animation and momentum in one of the more energetic performances we’ve seen.

 ‘I’m in a very good mood’ – Amos announced from the off and he was in jovial and playful spirit throughout. The first 45 minutes was almost entirely audience interaction: impressions, life advice and general teasing. Amos shared some of his background (portable music in his day was a record player, unfortunately easily confused with a sewing machine when taken to a party (it was a Singer), along with the challenges of the parent–child relationship going full circle. His dad had recently come to stay – sent him to his room (and he went!), and he also pumped the heating up to tropical levels as ‘I don’t pay the bills in this house’! He had also suffered his dad blaming the abundance of penguins for not being able to afford fish..

The second half was when Amos got into his headline ‘Oxymoron’ act. We didn’t get too far into linguistics, but applying oxymorons to the modern world worked as starting off points for Amos to get into the meat of the set. There were sections of the performance where Amos slipped into middle aged complaining territory (laments about TikTok, QR codes and nut allergies were less original) but there are very few acts who can range from democracy to the Dunning-Kruger effect so effortlessly. Amos had his fun with the entitlement of the audience, but for as long as Gap Comedy are able to ‘Bring the jesters to us!’, we’re lucky to have acts as accomplished and fun as him.