Firstly, I should say that Can I Get An Amen?! hits upon cultural touchstones I don’t have any background in. I’ve never seen RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’m not particularly familiar with the work of Whoopi Goldberg. It could easily be a case of a good show with the wrong audience member – but not so here. Despite my lack of familiarity with some of the reference material, the show is still a boisterous tour-de-force of ‘sassiness’ and individual strength.
Funny, heartening, and filled with humour that adopts some of the more absurd elements of ritual and religion to great power, this show is extremely funny and thoughtful. Most importantly, it is like nothing you have ever seen before. Led in an odd kind of sermon with a sacred text provided by Whoopi Goldberg, it’s quickly clear you’re in for something unique.
As the elements of ritual and comedy fall to the side to reveal the true heart of the show, the audience was rendered silent. There was a moment of rare truth and stunning honesty that silenced the crowd and drew us all in emotionally.
After all the religious-styled ritual and absurdity, here in this moment we had found what all the previous humour alluded to. The truth of living honestly, being your best self. In that moment I felt myself an unprepared witness for something intense, true, and changing.
All this is not to say the show does not succeed intensely in its comedic goals – it truly does – but there is something extra to it. Something that makes people consider themselves and the world around them. Thought-provoking comedy at its very best, this is one of the truly great highlights of an already excellent Fringe. There’s a lot to be discussed here; a lot to be unpacked, but I would rather not spoil it and leave others to have the surprising and deep experience this show offers.
Kaitlyn Rogers, performer of Can I Get An Amen?! shows an incredible range and depth of talent in this one hour show. To cover as much as her show does with as much success as this, is stunning.
This is comedy for the strong of heart – and, it must be said – liver.
Words by Liam McNally
Can I Get An Amen?! is playing at RAJOPOLIS at Raj House until March 18. Tickets available here.