Best of The Edinburgh Fest (FringeTIX)
Asher Treleaven, Maeve Higgins, Stephen K Amos @ The Governor Hindmarsh Hotel
8:00pm, Wed 7 Mar 2007
Once again, the mysterious Mary Tobin has again assembled an international collection of comedians for a “Best of” production. Melbournite Asher Treleaven emcees for the evening and, after a very low-key entrance, allows the audience to vote on the “actual” entrance musical accompaniment – using selections from the Top Gun soundtrack (which I, sadly, know all too well… I voted for Kenny Loggins’ “Playing With The Boys,” not out of some oiled-man-volleyball fetish, but because I actually like the song… so sue me. It’s better than that fucking Teena Marie track, anyway). Sadly, “Top Gun Anthem” won, and a far more elaborate entrance ensued.
Now, I’ve not heard of Mr Treleaven before, but I like the cut of his gib. Great style, no sense of shame, a hint of absurdity, and wonderful timing. Not just a blockhead, but a bookhead – he runs us through a collection of his favourite books (“Yoga for Men”, and the Guinness World Records’ most erotic book) before introducing us to Maeve Higgins.
Maeve… hmmmm. I want to love Maeve, with her gorgeous Irish accent and all, but she’s just not… enough. Don’t get me wrong, she’s got a decent ear for a joke, her presentation – whilst a little dry – is still appealling, it’s just that she’s just… too… nice. Gentle. Friendly giggles, not guilty guffaws. Still considering whether to catch her solo show.
Asher returns onstage and hammers two forks up his nose (you missed that “blockhead” reference above, didn’t you?), then jiggles them out again – cracking stuff. We scoot off for a drink, then Asher returns to introduce The Prince – Stephen K Amos, in garish robes, accompanied by an interpreter. I’ve never seen Amos do this bit before, but his faux African prince was brilliantly realised – Amos’ rubbery face wonderfully expressive. After the expected risque Amos material (relayed – or not – by the perfectly straight interpreter), Amos banishes his straight-man from the stage and stays in character, reverting to English for a little crowd abuse. Eventually The Prince leaves, and Amos returns sans robes.
And – as ever – he’s brilliant. In fact, if anyone were to ever ask for a single recommendation for a straight-up comedian, he’d be my go-to guy. But, tonight, something was special… Those who have seen Amos before know that he plunders events from previous shows for his humor. Heckles in times gone by, people talking to him after gigs. Tonight, we were privy to one of those moments.
In 2006, Amos expressed his dislike of the “Doors Plus” ad – “DOORS! DOORS! DOORS!”. This time, he mentioned the “EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING!” ad for some rug place.
And the chap responsible for those ads – both of them – was in the crowd.
His mate dobbed him in.
Right in front of the stage. Centre.
Jesus – I don’t know who laughed more, Amos or the audience. And, considering I was weeping with laughter, gasping for breath, that’s saying something.
And that only makes me want to see Amos again – to hear the story that comes out of that chance occurrence, because I was there.