Exploding smalltown ignorance
This article is from 2007.
Sleepy-voiced, droopy-eyed and dressed in a uniform of cover-all black, Hannah Gadsby wants to bring us up to speed on her 28 years. Raised in a hick town in Tasmania, and made to feel in turns ‘big boned’, ‘retarded’ or ‘dykey’ when growing up, she now seems mellow and happy. Hannah Gadsby is Wrong and Broken is loosely based around an oddball story she invented as a seven-year-old. Reading aloud her nonsense tale about a red goat called Siffin Soffon, it helps explains in a surreal and roundabout way her ongoing issues with family, food and sexuality.
Gadsby’s pear-shaped physical appearance also takes a good slagging; when someone once tried to reassure her that dimpled thighs should be seen as a sign that her legs are merely ‘happy’, she muses dryly that her ‘whole body must be pretty chuffed’. An overly critical mother also provides lots of good material, and explains the underconfident, downbeat schtick that leaves her sighing over the lack of victories she’s had in life. Although catharsis occasionally outweighs the comedy, her one-woman show is an entertaining shrug of the shoulders, playfully flipping the bird at the small-town mentalities that once alienated her. (Claire Sawers)
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