Presented by Gluttony
Reviewed: 1 March 2018
For over a decade, German entertainer Hans has ruled the Adelaide roost. Frequently covered in feathers and sequins, he has ensured this fair city has shaken off its lethargic conservatism. With accordion in hand, Hans knows how to use his fingers to good effect. He also has a way with words with his mouth witness to a huge amount of wickedness. Those with a narrow world-view perhaps wouldn’t enjoy his shows with his latest Hans – If You Don’t Love Me, Leave serving up his usual brand of salacious carry on. Filling out the tights and glittering hat with ease, Hans struts the stage as if he owns it. With his past productions finding huge success, his new venture should do just as well.
Within the confines of the Octagon stage at Gluttony, Hans delivered an hour of magical mayhem. The creation of the multi-talented Matt Gilbertson, Hans is a dazzling force of nature. He knows how to work his audience and milking their interaction for all its worth. It takes a seasoned pro to unearth humour in any spontaneous situation, as Hans does well. His current show had an all-Australian theme with the music and personalities of this stark country given a mostly light skewering. His home town of Adelaide receives a serve or two but it’s all in good fun with the packed house laughing from the opening number to the last. Gilbertson’s masterful character mirrors that of others such as Dame Edna and Barry McKenzie – a fish out of water persona successfully highlighting the often strange habits of our culture. With this past year forcing Australians to question their identity and voting in postal surveys, Hans – If You Don’t Love Me… Leave is topical as well as entertaining.
That doesn’t mean Hans has gone all serious on us as the show was full of the usual ribald theatrics that would make a sailor blush. With his sleek frame covered in sparkling outfits, Hans often seems like the naughty boy at a party who uses the energy of his audience to go further. That he certainly does with his dynamic dance moves and songs bursting through the stage. What’s pleasing about this latest Hans work is the creativity gone into doing something different. Whilst certain familiar elements surface, the show feels fresh with well-chosen songs effectively conveying its themes. It would be churlish to reveal what tunes Hans sings, although Cold Chisel, The Angels and many more receive the unique Hans twist.
Credit must also go to the backing band dubbed ‘The Ungrateful Bastards’ and the two dancers who are tastefully called ‘The Lucky Bitches’. All made a solid contribution to proceedings with finely honed flair. They should be proud to be in a show that clearly takes up a huge amount of energy to do with nary a breath being taken in between frantic routines. It’s been pleasing seeing the progression of the Hans character as the audience know they are in for a great time and just want a laugh within a party atmosphere. That they definitely receive with Hans working hard for the money and being treated right by his appreciative fans. Whilst occasionally Hans may be bitchy, he’s never nasty to his audience although a few unsuspecting punters still haven’t heard that it’s always risky to be seated in the front row!
Hans – If You Don’t Love Me… Leave may be filled with high camp but it’s a consistently entertaining hour. Adelaide has few new entertainment icons; Hans is one of them. Gilbertson’s professionalism shines through his character and he absolutely makes sure his audience are enjoying themselves. As always, you can’t go wrong with anything featuring Hans, the luscious Germanic Lolita who wears hot pants that would have made another famed local identity, Don Dunstan, proud.
Reviewed by: Patrick Moore
Rating out of 5: 5
Venue: The Octagon at Gluttony
Season: 1 – 18 March 2018
Duration: 60 mins.
Tickets: Full Price – $33.00 – $38.00, Concession – $33.00.