Reviewed: 16 June 2018
In a week when Adelaide’s Queen of television Anne Wills was recognised on our royal Queen’s birthday honours, the other reigning glittering royalty debuts his new show. I’m of course talking about German entertainer Hans, the creation of the multi-skilled Matt Gilbertson. For over a decade, Hans has travelled the breadth of Adelaide and beyond displaying his gift for outrageous outfits and high camp. With a dash of Danny La Rue, Julian Clary and others, Hans’ way with words have seen him shock and delight in equal measures. This has never been more true than his recent appearance on America’s Got Talent. Becoming a sensation due to his ultra-stylised version of the radio standard Proud Mary, his entry into the second round of competition has earned him jeers from bible thumpers and cheers from everyone else. Breaking through the barrier of American sensibilities is no mean feat but given the longevity Hans has endured, it will be interesting seeing where he goes next.
In the meantime, he appears for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival in his latest show Hans and the Lucky Seven’s Loveboat. Ditching the ‘Ungrateful Bastards’ for the time being, his backing band of the ‘Lucky Seven’ were equally as amazing. Opening the show with a golden oldie standard, the level of musical talent was top notch. With eight musicians on stage, the ensemble added to the nautical atmosphere superbly. Mostly dressed in sailor’s attire, the able seamen looked dashing as they caressed their instruments. They were but a fine centrepiece to the main event which was Hans. Not since Cher straddled a cannon in the If I Could Turn Back Time video has the seven seas looked so divine as Hans entered the stage on the shoulders of two dashing gents whilst wearing sparkling spandex.
To go into detail about what eventually occurred would be spoiling too much but Hans proved once again his mastery at his interplay with the audience. Although admitting his voice seemed to be deserting him during the show, just like any professional, Gilbertson underscored the old ‘show must go on’ motif to the max. Still as energetic and zesty as ever, he pushed on to generate yet another hilariously scandalous production. Taking the mickey out of a few new and old audience members – without ever being nasty – he generated the laughs well. Not even the Cabaret Festival itself was out of limits but this also showed his tenacity in taking no prisoners whilst singing up a storm.
Making Hans and the Lucky Seven’s Loveboat stand out was the care taken in doing something new. As shown by his hard work over the years in building the Hans persona, Gilbertson has never been one to rest on his laurels. Doing something new keeps the character fresh as was proven here. Although the usual ‘Lucky Bitches’ dancers were nowhere to be seen, the interaction between Hans and the ‘Lucky Seven’ were just as amusing. Together their feisty versions of Rock the Boat, My Heart Will Go On and others were on point. Moving through the crowd like a slinky Lolita on the prowl with accordion in hand, Hans made sure his admirers got the great time they came for. The costumes worn were sparkling as ever and the lighting was sublime. Hans and the Lucky Seven’s Loveboat has already sold out and it isn’t hard to see why in this fun show full of wicked naughtiness.
Once again, Matt Gilbertson deserves major kudos for his efforts in ensuring his audience has a good time. It’s been a pleasure seeing his rise to the top of the local, national and now international entertainment tree. Where he and Hans goes next is anyone’s guess but his professional journey is far from over with the current show sure to pave the way for more spectacular antics in years to come.
Rating out of 5: 5
Reviewed by: Patrick Moore
Venue: Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 16 – 17 June 2018
Duration: 1 hr.
Tickets: Premium Adult – $46.90, A Reserve: Adult $41.90, Concession: $36.90
Bookings: Book online at www.bass.net.au or phone BASS on 131 246