Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Hannah Gadsby – Happiness is a Bedside Table at Assembly Rooms (Venue 139), reviewed by Kate Copstick
At some point in their careers, if they are good, a comic will do a show that just “clicks”. It is, to quote Martine McCutcheon, their “moment”. Well, this is Hannah Gadsby’s moment and it is just wonderful.
Yes, this is one of those autobiographical, “my crap life” shows, but never have I seen it done with such warmth, such candour, such intelligence and so many, many laughs.
This is a beautiful, funny show about awful (yet hilarious) things and ghastly (yet hilarious) experiences. I rarely feel moved to rush down a flight of stairs, hug a comic and tell them how much I loved the show, but I did here. I am sure Hannah is relieved that I have chosen to relay my wholehearted delight in this lovely production through the medium of print.
From diseased rabbits and a hideous (yet hilarious) experience on a water slide, through flashing old ladies, a girlfriend who violated her in a monstrous (yet hilarious) and chocolatey way and a naked near-death experience, Hannah leads you though a life which, in retrospect, could only have brought her to comedy – or even heavier medication than she is on now. Along the way she introduces us to the eponymous bedside table, addresses the problem of adult bedwetting and gives absolutely the best explanation of the Pill ever.
Be prepared for The Great Gadsby to get a bit political, people. The brilliance of this show is in the mix. The Janus of pleasure and pain has never had such a laugh. And the ending of the show makes you feel things that comedy simply doesn’t normally make you feel.
Did I mention the show is hilarious? Nica Burns has famously said that when a woman wins the Comedy Award she will cartwheel down the Royal Mile. If there is any justice, then Burns should be limbering up right now.
Until 25 August. Tomorrow 4:30pm
More info: Hannah Gadsby – Happiness is a Bedside Table is at Assembly Rooms
Originally published in The Scotsman