Until now, Hannah Gadsby had only been known in Australia, where she had been quite successful for many years. Hers was one of the early diverse voices on the Aussie comedy circuit.
In this show she graduates to a global audience, with a refreshed, more profound, emotional and humanistic tone. Her observations are often fresh -in every sense of the word- and I get that some viewers who expected a "good ol' laugh" may have been surprised, shocked, or disappointed by her performance.
In truth, she ruthlessly deconstructs some of the taken-for-granted conceptions that underpin much social norms in Western society: power, patriarchy, money, art, sex, or mental illness -Michel Foucauld did exactly the same, but he wasn't as funny as Hannah. No wonder some will dislike her act.
Taking down unspoken norms that underpin Western social order, sounds like a terrible idea for a comedy show. In truth, not all of it is laugh-your-head-off funny. I guess it was intentional. Gadsby's show tries to go back-and-forth across that thin line separating drama and comedy, and by and large she pulls it off, with humour, emotion, and a truckload of humanity. In doing so, Gadsby is courageous, laying bare what must have been difficult moments for her, and I was moved by the way she re-tells her coming out story.
If you are seeking a comedy act where "funny" jokes come thick and fast one after the other, this is not for you. But if you can appreciate humour that is fuelled by incisive observation and critical thinking that comes from a different perspective, you may well enjoy this one.
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