Wednesday, February 29, 2012



Hannah Wants a Wife

Rhino Room

8pm til March 4

Each time I see Hannah Gadsby she is better than the last. She is deadpan and whip smart, thoroughly engaging and extremely funny. Recently her fan base has expanded considerably from being Adam Hills offsider on In Gordon Street Tonight.

Hannah has a Fine Arts degree which she hasn't been using much lately, unless you count that Artscape shows she made about the National Gallery of Victoria for ABC-TV. But let's say, for the sake of this review that she hasn't been, her new show Hannah Wants A Wife gives her a great opportunity to do so. The tiny stage of The Rhino Room is dominated by a large print of a painting by Jan van Eyck from 1434 called the Arnolfini Portrait. For hundreds of years this portrait has been seen as an actual marriage contract, with every tiny detail a symbolizing and detailed story about the people in the painting, their standing and lives. Throughout the show Hannah uses the painting and all that is known about it, to illustrate that everything is not as it would appear and not just in the artwork. She deftly uses the painting as a reference point for talking about gay marriage, time travel and how awkward it can be when heterosexual blokes come into contact with somebody like Hannah who...well...bats for the other team. Great writing, engaging and laugh out loud funny story teller. Hannah Wants a Wife is excellent. Hurry last days!

Ian Bell.

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