Hannah Gadsby: Happiness is a Bedside Table (4 stars)

This article is from 2013

Hannah Gadsby: Happiness is a Bedside Table

Beautifully constructed and moving show that has an important point to make

A show that manages to be both cheek-achingly funny and genuinely touching is a rare thing, so make the most of this treat from Tasmanian comic Hannah Gadsby. To the uninitiated, her slurring way of speaking could almost have you believe she’s come to the stage drunk, were it not for the razor-sharp asides she chucks out with impressive frequency.

Gadsby’s narrative, which starts and finishes with the titular bedside table and an unfortunate night-time surprise, is so beautifully constructed that you don’t really notice you’re being taken on ‘a journey’ until you reach the end and find yourself unspeakably moved. She’s a great storyteller, deftly making depression and body-image issues part of a hilarious hour that never feels cloying or whiney – not even close.

Instead, her deadpan style keeps awkwardness and over-emoting at bay, and she sends herself up far too often to ever let the mood go down. Confident and smooth, her delivery never falters, never detracts from a show that has heart and an important point to make. One to win round even the most hardened of cynics.

Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 25 Aug (not 19), 4.30pm, £9–£11 (£8–£10).

Hannah Gadsby: Happiness is a Bedside Table

  • 4 stars

Token Events. Australian Hannah Gadsby has written a new show about the lowest point in her life (thus far) and how she eventually found happiness in a piece of furniture. Contains imagined nudity and metaphorical nakedness. ★★★★★ (Chortle.co.uk). ★★★★ (Scotsman). 'Humour with heart, hips and brains' (Adelaide Advertiser…