Hannah Gadsby enamoured herself to the Perth crowd early by accrediting us with an appreciation she rarely finds in the (potentially spoiled) Eastern States crowds. She said she loves coming over here to visit “Regional Australia” because we’re just so grateful to acts that make the trip.
She was quick to point out that, despite the name of her show being Donkey, she didn’t actually have a lot of stories about donkeys, but reeled off a few jokes just to create some kind of tie for those people who required satisfaction on that front.
Later on, I was able to piece together the subtext and connection between the “Winnie the Pooh” references that indicated that she sees herself as Eeyore, the depressive donkey in that tale.
Gadsby spent a large portion of her show finding humour in the perilous situations her unstable mental health puts her in; like not washing up for 19 days, missing flights and jeopardising her relationship. She shared stories about how she built a career around the fact that she had depression and anxiety, so when the Doc cleared her of present danger from those long term companions, she thought she’d have no comic fodder left. Instead, she was diagnosed with ADHD (mostly minus the H), got prescribed Ritalin and thus, found a whole new world of funny to create.
I’ve been a fan of Hannah Gadsby from her TV appearances, but this was the first live, full-length show I’d seen and let me tell you, it’s a fascinating lesson in how the mind of a creative thinker works. Gadsby seemed to blurt out word vomit in a stream of consciousness direct from mind to mouth, but assured us that she had actually written a show. In what seemed to be some “off-the-cuff” moments though, she talked fast, interrupted herself and didn’t bother to finish some of her sentences for the outside listeners, because she had already finished them in her head and moved onto the next thought pattern. This is quite hilarious, but occasionally makes it hard to follow and keep up.
Hannah Gadsby is a kind, clever and self-deprecating comedian who may not be able to sort her taxes or boil eggs, but can hold her own with a big audience in a massive theatre with nothing more than a beer and a microphone.
A Token Event
Venue: The Octagon Theatre | The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA
Dates: 15 – 16 May 2015