Hannah Gadsby: Mrs Chuckles

Article by Simon Fielding | 06 Aug 2011
  • Hannah Gadsby

In an intricately assembled hour of slow-burning mirth, Mrs Chuckles takes in Australian small towns, homophobia and famous last words with an endearing, ramshackle charm.

Ambling across the stage to the rough-edged riffs of Tom Waits, Gadsby is not the kind of artist to go in for an arresting introduction. The tea and biscuits opener is quite brilliant, allowing the performer to set up a deliciously awkward conversation with a sometimes feisty, sweaty Friday afternoon audience, most of whom are Australian. Humdrum subject matter is a foil, of course, as the recurring Jammy Dodger motif allows Gadsby the space to explore deeper topics of identity, the problems of human communication and femininity.

Despite an air of self-deprecation, she is a comic whose technical judgement is clinically sharp throughout this pleasing show. Gadsby's versatility allows her to shift from a Donald Duck impression to a provocative reflection on murder and prejudice in seconds.

Mrs Chuckles is a humane, warm and wide-ranging show, earning palpable affection from the crowd by the end of the hour.

Hannah Gadsby: Mrs Chuckles, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 16.45, 6-29 August (not 15th). £10-£12