Comedian Rachel Fairburn recently experienced an upsetting event – a random act of kindness. These deeds are usually performative, filmed for social media, or carried out so loudly in public that everyone has to pay attention. There’s even a National Random Acts of Kindness Day, for those of us who seemingly spend the other 364 days being terrible humans. Fairburn thinks the ‘be kind’ movement has gone too far, and she’s not afraid to say so, in her latest hour of hilarious comedy Can I Be Awful? 

Fairburn has always been a straight-shooter, and if you’ve listened to the podcast All Killa No Filla, which she co-hosts with Kiri Pritchard-McLean, you will know she is not one to mince her words. Whether it’s taking aim at the ‘Camilla’s’ of the world, the privileged white women who sometimes cosplay as working class, or the privately educated reviewers who call her brassy, rude and belligerent, Fairburn never misses with her witty, sharp observations. Seemingly no one is safe, with budget hotel chains and guest houses getting ripped to shreds in a section that has the audience in absolute hysterics. Fairburn is truly at her best when she’s unleashing her wrath and the crowd lap it up. 

Fairburn will open a dialogue on her WhatsApp chats with the phrase, ‘Can I be awful?’ and she’s truly at her best when she’s speaking her truth. And, given the people she skewers in public, it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall for some of those private chats. If you buy t-shirts with ‘Be Kind’ emblazoned on them, or like to purchase treats for random strangers to make yourself look good, this may not be the show for you. But if you have a pulse and a sense of humour, you should definitely check it out.