Playing four shows at Brunswick Ballroom as part of the 2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival over the duration of two dates (which is crazy), Matt Gilbertson’s alter-ego Han the German is taking no prisoners with his show – ‘Haus of Hans: Disco Spektakulär’.
Initially, I had never been to Brunswick Ballroom before. Upon finding the venue and climbing up the stairs, I felt a bit nervous and intimidated, not knowing what to expect. The venue itself surprised me, appearing much bigger on the inside, and adorned with a cabaret style seating complete with a disco ball and two chandeliers.
After settling at my table and witnessing Hans’ band ‘The Ungrateful Bastards’ take the stage, it wasn’t long before Hans himself emerged. Like a glittering goddess in a pink sequined playsuit, Hans gracefully made his way down the stage’s staircase to an audience who were immediately captivated and ready to eat of the palm of his hand (not literally).
Not limited to his trademark piano accordion, Hans is a multi-talented force to be reckoned with. He can sing, he can dance, he can tap-dance, he can do the splits (on chairs, mind you), and man, can he play the piano! Although disco tracks and more modern but similar style songs from Lizzo, Kylie Minogue and Madonna were all part of Hans’ repertoire, it was actually Hans’ piano solo accompanied with his band that really blew me away. I had not known of Hans’ piano talents beforehand, was enthralled, and wanted to see more of this.
The show also consisted of an excellent cover of Alanis Morrisette’s ‘You Oughta Know’, which was not only the highlight of the night showcasing Hans’ versatility, but it is one of the best covers I have ever heard of this song.
Over the duration of the 75-minute show, Hans somehow manages to have 3 costume changes (the green caped one-piece jumpsuit was my favourite), keeping the audience attentive and entertained for its entirety while emitting high amounts of energy and confidence.
Unapologetically confronting, Hans shows his audience from the get-go that he isn’t afraid to come at you if you thought the back of the venue was ‘safe’. Frequently walking on and off the stage during the night into the crowd, Hans is more than willing to be extremely cheeky and playful with you – if you let him. This is not limited to taking your drink, flirting, and putting his heel on your table. Admittedly, I too was nervous whenever Hans would walk by my table, and I found myself shrouded in a constant combination of both glee and fear (this is a good thing, mind you).
The most heartfelt moment of the night was during Hans’ finale where he slows it down and sings ‘Edelweiss’, made famous by the late great Christopher Plummer from the iconic film, The Sound of Music. The audience were singing along word for word, and it was a general feel-good moment. As a massive musical and film fan, I really appreciated this song being part of Hans’ show.
Not a single person left Brunswick Ballroom without a smile. Myself included; my face actually hurt from smiling so much! In fact, it is the perfect venue for ‘Haus of Hans: Disco Spektakulär’, allowing for the artist to intimately interact with their audience should they choose to. In Hans’ case, the entire venue was his playground and it was fabulous. My only criticism is that there are only four shows at the 2022 Melbourne International Comedy Festival – there should be more!
I am completely convinced that this man can do anything. Whether he goes by Hans the German or Adelaide’s Matt Gilbertson, the world is his oyster and he deserves everything he can get.
Hans only has two more shows left of ‘Haus of Hans: Disco Spektakulär’ at Brunswick Ballroom – 6:30pm and 8:30pm on April 9th.
For more information and ticketing, visit: