Words by Samuel McDonough
The Rhino Room, as everybody probably knows by now, is moving. I hadn’t really given it close thought before. I’d heard or read what a lot of comedians have said about it, that it was their favourite room in which to do a fifty-minute set in Australia, that it will be missed. But things change, we move on. It wasn’t until about twenty minutes through Amos’s show that I was struck with the sudden realisation that what Adelaide had here were two things pretty special, and together they are brilliant.
Amos begins the show by asking which portion of the sold out, hundred-strong audience is there because they listen to him on his breakfast radio show on Hit107. A fair portion of the audience raises their hands and cheer. He immediately warns them that what they are about to hear is not commercial breakfast radio. Amos then effortlessly begins a routine with sharp crowd work, noticing and exploiting a rare empty seat in the front row next to a fellow who Amos subsequently attempts to set up with a date for the rest of the night. There were no takers.
The fact that he is now on commercial radio does not inhibit the rawness in the subject matter of some of his set, but it has given him material that he might not otherwise have had. Smashing nose beers with the guy who killed Osama Bin Laden and being a member of SEAL Team 6 for an evening in Las Vegas (if only in the IT section) is perhaps not the most relatable material for most people in their mid-twenties. However, the manner in which Amos tells all his stories is with such an excellent joke-to-narrative ratio that the audience comes right there along with him, punctuating the space frequently with raucous laughter.
And what a space the Rhino Room is when filled with laughter. Cramming one hundred seats into that narrow space creates an atmosphere so conducive comedy that the echoes of the comments Dave Callan and Greg Fleet had made swam around my thoughts and I began to feel bittersweet, knowing that this might be the last show I see at the Rhino Room as it currently is.
When Amos Gill told his mother after year twelve that he needed a year off to ‘find himself’ she told him that he needed to ‘find himself’ another home. As a comedian, he did in the Rhino Room. If you can get in to see it, I strongly recommend it.
Catch Sorry, But It's True at Rhino Room until Saturday 18th March. Tickets via FringeTix.