Hannah Gadsby’s latest offering at the MICF Happiness is a Bedside Table is absolutely superb. While it’s riddled with Gadsby’s signature wry humour, it’s the honesty and revelatory nature of the show that makes the comedy such a standout.
Gadsby takes the audience on a journey from when her innocence and confidence was shattered in her adolescence to the rippling effect this has had on her adult life. From a dysfunctional relationship to an aimless future, she talks candidly about her ‘body dysmorphia’ and people’s ready willingness to fat shame her. Her story about the time a past girlfriend tried to worm her because she thought Hannah was eating too much is simply heart wrenching.
But Gadsby never positions herself as the martyr and, by this, is not seeking pity from the audience. She’s only too aware that the audience is there for laughs, which is her gift, but her new found confidence seems to have given Gadsby the courage to dig deeper, which makes her comedy richer and, quite frankly, all the more funnier.
Fortunately, Gadsby is now giving the proverbial finger to her detractors. She’s “happy-ish” and getting paid to make people laugh about the things she has been tormented and debased for. I think we can all agree it’s a good outcome. We can only hope that her ex-girlfriend is out there somewhere today riddled with envy and worms.