Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Hannah Gadsby – Nanette

Gadsby trawls through the many thoughts (both humorous and depressing) that swirl around inside her mind

Presented by Token Events
Reviewed 26 February 2017

This is a show not to be missed as Gadsby trawls through the many thoughts (both humorous and depressing) that swirl around inside her mind and will have you crying with laughter one minute, and then crying with despair the next.

This is an inspiring comedy routine – a break from the stand-up norm. Gadsby covers many topics in this hour, from Pablo Picasso being a complete “s**t-biscuit”, to being addressed as Sir by sales people, and to discovering the truth behind the choice of the name Nanette for this year’s show.

Gadsby starts the show with an announcement of sorts that it is time for her to move on from comedy, and this is where the tears start. Though don’t be misled – Nanette isn’t a cry-fest, as she maintains an entertaining balance between humour, sadness and intelligent social commentary throughout.

Gadsby powerfully takes on popular topics in modern society; the power of the white, straight male, the current LGBTQ+ bathroom issue, and growing up “different” in the “Bible Belt” of Tasmania. This is comedy, but with a strong social message. She brings up memories from her past – some comical and amusing, others that will, quite literally, bring tears to your eyes. Gadsby’s social commentary is intelligent, insightful and necessary leaving you hoping that her next move will be as an inspirational speaker, or maybe even a TED Talk.

As you walk out the theatre door, not only having thoroughly enjoyed the past hour, you may also leave feeling incredibly empowered (I know I did), and this just really doesn’t happen at many comedy routines, or any other theatre for that matter.

The only negative of Nanette is the venue. As the The Factory is made of wood and all the doors are closed there is little-to-no air-flow so don’t expect to need a jumper, even on the chillier summer nights. Also, the fact that the theatre is located right next to four or five amusement rides means that pretty much throughout the show you will hear the screams of adrenaline-junkies, which unfortunately is not a plus when Gadsby discusses more serious topics.

Gadsby is a comedic genius and an important social commentator. This show is an absolute must-see, especially as this may be her last Fringe performance.

Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Twitter: @Georgie_xox

Rating out of 5: 5

Season ended


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