Review – Hannah Gadsby: Donkey
Hannah Gadsby is brave, raw and someone you feel like you know already. Her new hour of stand-up, ‘Donkey’, is uproarious, quick, sometimes tangential and a total product of how her mind works. But unlike how you might remember her in the past, ‘Donkey’ shows us all the sides of Hannah. Even the dark, disturbing and very personal parts.
Be aware, this show is certainly not a laugh a minute, but that’s the beauty in it. It’s an incredibly brave thing to stand before an audience and tell them, in all its not-so-funny detail, how you have come to terms with your own mental health. The show becomes quite dark and the laughs became more sporadic when Hannah reveals more about her life with depression, or more specifically ADHD.
Being the flawed real-life human being that she is, Hannah’s comedy is relatable to the majority of us flawed human beings. And if you can’t relate, well let’s face it; you’re just an asshole. We laugh at everything from grossly hip barristers who assume they are better than you, to boiling eggs for children, to every day battles of finding matching socks and summoning the inspiration to start on the 19-day old pile of dishes. She makes no excuses or apologies for who she is or for her own brand of comedy, which she has labeled as ‘depressed’.
Despite focusing on the dark reality of mental health, ‘Donkey’ is a show that is all together heartening and uplifting, as Hannah ends the show on a Gladys Knight show tune. You’re reminded of her lovable ‘dagginess’ and how empowering it is for people to be able to laugh at themselves and at the world.