I will admit that I generally do not frequent the larger theatres or the more famous headline acts at the Comedy Festival – I prefer to watch the small, intimate shows of the ‘up-and-comers’ and shows in the smaller venues. This year, a friend of mine mentioned that her Comedy Festival tradition was to see Hannah Gadsby’s show. I thought I’d go along – I didn’t know too much about Hannah (aside from what you’d find on Wikipedia and social media) but I was keen to attend.
Hannah’s show is called “Nanette” – I do love a vague title as I was curious to find out what this refers to. As expected, Hannah’s show was peppered with anecdotes and personal stories (including one referencing the show title). These personal stories were fascinating, and often quite raw. There were laughs during this show and couple of snappy one liners that I heartily enjoyed, however this show is full of deeper emotions. Hannah cares about a lot of topics close to her (politics, art, community, identity) and these are discussed at length during her show. The audience clearly cared about Hannah’s topics, for they were shared topics many could relate to – many times I heard murmurs of “here here!” and “YES!” from audience members, and even the glistening of eyes when topics hit home for some people.
There were points during the show where Hannah mentioned this would likely be her last show, and that she would be “moving on” from comedy (moving on where / to was not mentioned – it’s a mystery!), so if you’re thinking of attending I would recommend on doing so. This is a powerful show, and if you’re an existing Gadsby fan, I’d hate for you to miss out!
Upon leaving the theatre, I left quietly – I guess I was stunned a little. I was surprised that Hannah shared so much about her personal circumstances and upbringing with her audience. This show left me with a deeper feeling – that each one of us can get out there and make the change we want to see in the community. I like to think that everyone left the show feeling a little more connected to each other.
VERDICT: Please see this show if you’re already a Hannah Gadsby fan! This show is powerful and should be seen. If you’re a “first timer” attending a Hannah Gadsby show (like I was) I have it on good authority that this is unlike her ‘usual’ show so you may wish to keep that in mind. If you like your comedy with a side of political and social commentary then this show may appeal.