Hannah Gadsby - Mrs Chuckles
Hannah Gadsby is your ‘no frills’ type of comedienne. She’s an out-and–proud lesbian who hates talking about sex. When she tries to be feminine, she turns into a gay man. She grew up in the tiny town of Smithton, Tasmania, where she didn’t meet her first stranger until she was seven. She blames this for being so uncomfortable with ‘chit chat’, though Gadsby does a decent job of small talk in her act.
Gadsby got through school with her three talents that still get her out of sticky situations: speaking like Donald duck, whistling her esses, and throat farts. The essence of the show suits Gadsby well: understated, makes you chuckle but not roll-on-the-floor-laughing type comedy. It’s a little risqué, but too crass that you couldn’t bring your mother.
Gadsby has the art of storytelling and just being generally funny down pat, but she’s yet to master the art of making the audience feel included. The act felt a bit distant, like the audience were at her jokes as if she were on television. Sure, it’s funny, but the intimacy was missing. Then again, Gadsby warned that adrenaline makes her sleepy, hence why she only ever gives around 60 to 90 per cent effort.
Re-occurring themes like what choosing her last words, living in Tasmania and then Canberra and being mistaken for a man by her local butcher are all carefully interwoven in the act, and re-occur when you least expect it. Her struggles with femininity are another common theme, and it is in this instance that Gadsby’s ability to laugh at herself really balances her act.
Gadsby says herself that it’s best to ‘make no impression than a bad impression’, and that’s perhaps what she does best in her show. Her act very well matched her persona. If low-key humour is your thing, go for Gadsby. If you want to be laughing hysterically for an hour straight, this is not you.