Presented by Hans
Reviewed 17th February 2017
In Gluttony’s high-ceilinged Octagon, 5 pink stage-lights glare into the audience seated around its octagonal thrust stage. Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries hits the speakers, two huge screens spring to life with Prussian-style military parades, and Hans, flanked by two flag-wielding women, enters on an electric hover-board. And that’s just the start. He wears enough aqua eye-shadow to serve a calisthenics team, bright lipstick, orange sequinned hotpants, a vaguely military jacket and cap, both decorated with orange sequinned stars, black stockings with lacy tops, and comfy flat-heeled kid-leather boots. He begins by reminding us, in hushed tones, of the sacred nature of the land on which this evening’s event is being held, acknowledging the custodianship of the Polites family. And it all goes downhill from there.
Hans is bawdy, rambunctious, inventive, immensely intuitive, and highly entertaining. He mutters, “I’m like vodka – ageless and tasteless.” He has a clear grasp of the function of cabaret, and uses his intelligence to fashion apt political, social and moral barbs which keep the laughs going right through the show. Much of the entertainment is musical. His band, The Ungrateful Bastards, play guitar, bass, drums and keyboard – his keyboardist is also a handy backing vocalist on vocoder. Hans himself is a good singer and skilled musician (piano and piano accordion); some of his satire is musically encoded. I especially liked his witty quote of Weill’s Barbara-Song in the middle of a Nazified version of My Favourite Things.
Hans shows a fine understanding of cabaret by his use of the audience throughout the show. He speaks to individuals, poses for photos, checks phones, tries on glasses, mutters impromptu asides, and sits on laps. Especially the laps of men of all ages. His ability to build good-natured rapport with his audience is his greatest personal skill. Song follows rapidly after song. He has re-written many of the lyrics to lampoon both local and international figures. Trump is dealt with in a bright re-write of Abba’s Money, Money, Money. He wittily skewers Pauline Hanson in a rejigged version of Dolly Parton’s Jolene entitled Pauline. Although the satire stings, it’s never directed towards hatred.
His two very fit and busy dancers get four costume changes, from immodest black leather’n’lace to aqua showgirl-with-feathers. Hans himself, a beefy boy at the best of times, also manages four – his finale being achieved in a red metallic-effect catsuit. Spotlight will be posting a huge profit this year, I predict.
This show is worth seeing for Hans’ genial gusto – and he’s got balls.
Reviewed by Pat. H. Wilson
Rating out of 5: 4
Venue: The Octagon in Gluttony
Season: 17th February – 5th March 2017
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: Full Price: $36.00 to $38.00 Cheap Tuesday: $33.00 Group 6+: $34.00 to $35.00