By Yona Eagle
It was with initial trepidation that my husband and I crossed the forecourt towards the Malthouse theatre to see Hans: Like a German, the over-the-top alter ego of South Australian journalist, Matt Gilbertson.
The line of people waiting to enter the theatre spiralled well out of the theatre outside into the fine mist of Melbourne rain. From the advertising at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, I knew that Hans was popular but I had clearly underestimated just how great this popularity was.
The line was represented by people of all ages – Hans’ fan base is as large as it is varied. In the line too was a 16 year old named Lavinia (who we were later introduced to) who was brought by her mother Lee – Hans made great jokes about likely needing to call human services! Being at the end of this line, my husband and I assumed we would be stuck in the front Row – prime position to be picked upon but to our surprise, these seats were completely full…either they didn’t know what they were in store for or they were looking forward to the challenge.
Hans opens his show dressed in full lederhosen and as he walks down from the balcony he encourages the audience in a stirring round of Do Re Mi.. I have seen many shows at this theatre but none opened with so much fun. Hans is certainly a true showman.
Hans comes down to the stage and strips down to a sequinned outfit - one of many glittered & feathered costumes that night, all, he tells us, of which have been made by his mum.
The next hour is full of intelligent humour, perhaps born of his everyday job working in a newsroom, and the dance off between 2 audience members - one a doctor and the other a lawyer - is testament to this.
His keyboard skills rival Elton John and his accordion skills are highlighted by a mash up of Australian iconic hits played in polka style. Don’t let the sparkled outfits distract you, this man is talented!!
He is ably backed by his band - the ungrateful bitches – and whilst he may not have won America’s Got Talent, he surely proves that Australia has talent in buckets.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.