Adelaide Fringe Review: Hans – Disco Spektakulär

FIFTY+SA Arts Reviewer, Dr Diana Carroll, joins the adoring audience to welcome Hans back on stage at Adelaide Fringe.

After a dramatic year or two recovering from a nasty fall on a cruise ship – off the stage and into the orchestra pit – everyone’s favourite German wunderkind is back on stage with more glitz and glamour than before. And how appropriate that Rock the Boat is one of his big numbers!

The pride of Berlin, the Boy Wonder and international superstar that is Hans (as he loves to tell us!) is taking an encore season of his ever-popular show Disco Spektakulär around Australia.

Hans opens the show with his familiar call ‘The bitch is back!’ and the adoring audience only have eyes for him for the next 60+ minutes. And always one to play the crowd, he’s out there after the show air-kissing and posing for selfies.

On stage here with two talented dancing back-up singers, known as The Lucky Bitches, and his two-man band The Ungrateful Bastards on drums and guitar, the show is all about Hans, the cabaret star alter-ego of Adelaide’s own Matt Gilbertson.

From his early days on stage in the old Weimar Room Berlin Cabaret – so many fond memories there – to starring on America’s Got Talent, Hans has made a huge career out of his own style of cheeky, cheerful campy cabaret.

Resplendent in sequins and glitter, Hans belts out a great playlist of pop tunes. And yes, Kylie’s I Should Be So Lucky is given the full piano accordion treatment as all true Hans fans know and love. Madonna’s Like a Prayer has everyone in the audience singing along. And the medley of Australian hits, including Sherbet’s Howzat and the Oils’ The Beds are Burning, played with a particularly Germanic polka twist, is hilarious.

More than the disco hits and outrageous costumes, a Hans show is all about the audience. This is a performer who knows his audience and can play them right to the edge. He is super confident engaging in naughty banter and cheeky repartee and don’t we just love him for it! And there’s also the requisite audience participation, ensuring two unsuspecting blokes are suitably embarrassed in front of the full house of Hans fans.

Hans is a real treasure and absolutely revels in the love from a home-town crowd. This is his show, honey! There’s really nothing new here in Disco Spektakulär but that’s exactly the point. This is the Hans we know and love and we’d be disappointed if it was any different. With a fully SOLD-OUT show on Tuesday March 5th, there are just three more performances left from Friday to Sunday (8 – 10 March) so book now!

Disco Spektakulär easily goes over its allotted 60 minutes – as Hans says, this is cabaret so he has to do at least six encores. The very final encore is a rollicking version of Tina Turner’s anthemic Proud Mary and we all go home happy with a little Hans glow!

Hans: Disco Spektakulär is at Gluttony to Sunday March 10 as part of the Adelaide Fringe.

Hans: Disco Spektakulär

Until Saturday 10th of March

The Flamingo, Gluttony

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