Adelaide Cabaret Festival – Art Lite (Hannah Gadsby)

The Adelaide Cabaret Festival, where there are no rules, becomes a classroom in Hannah Gadsby’s show, Art Lite. Armed with a lectern, a PowerPoint presentation and a nifty laser pointer, Gadsby’s class is not one to be missed!

Hannah Gadsby
Hannah Gadsby

Gadsby, in true lecture series style, clearly outlines the learning objectives. It is obvious from the outset that, aside from exploring fine art throughout the ages, Art Lite will be a show where hilarity reigns. Gadsby’s comedic style, as seen on Adam Hills Tonight, is incredibly intelligent, observant and unique. Her quick wit and perfect timing ensures sidesplitting laughter with each joke.

In the one hour and ten minute (about 300 slide!) art extravaganza, some of the most pressing art questions are finally answered. What’s the deal with Cherubs? Why are most female art subjects completely devoid of a skeletal system? Why is proportion and perspective so often messed up? And the list goes on.

We are walked though art across the ages – from Greek and Roman art (where form was good, but the Gods were wrong), the birth of Christ, the Dark Ages (“when art got a bit shit”), and beyond (“nailing it”). The accompanying slideshow both demonstrates her point and aids in punch line delivery, and is utilised to perfection. There is no music in this cabaret show so the visual information is key.

Hannah thankfully “assumes no prior knowledge” in Art Lite. Her unique interpretation of artworks across the ages will have both connoisseurs and novices thoroughly entertained. Everyone will learn a thing or two, albeit not in the drab and dreary art history form that one might expect.

Art Lite is what I wish all lectures could be – funny and informative. Hannah Gadsby maintains a fast paced and energetic performance that, while not in the traditional cabaret form, is absolutely perfect. Stand up comedy meets art history. What’s not to love?

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