‘Hans: Like a German’ is “part therapy session, part cabaret show”

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‘Hans: Like a German’ is “part therapy session, part cabaret show”

Words by Annie-Mei Forster

Matt Gilbertson, better known as Hans, is preparing for his first national tour of Australia with his cabaret show Hans: Like a German kicking off at Wonderland Spiegeltent in Melbourne’s Fed Square.

He’s a self-described accordionist, sex symbol and international superstar who is ready to unleash his Berlin boy wonder charms across Australia.

Calling Adelaide home, Gilbertson has been performing at the Adelaide Fringe for over a decade and his character Hans has been a crowd favourite. Through Adelaide Fringe’s Honey Pot program, talent scouts and festival directors come to Fringe each year to meet with local performers. This allowed Gilbertson to take Hans to an international audience last year when he landed a spot on America’s Got Talent and made it through to the quarter finals.

Performing in front of the likes of Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell, Hans was able to wow the audience donning hot pants and ample amounts of glitter. While he says there were mixed reactions to his show, there was plenty of praise for Hans on social media with his promise to “make America glitter again”.

Although Gilbertson didn’t win America’s Got Talent, he was able to perform Spice Girls’ ‘Spice Up Your Life’ in front of former Spice Girl, Mel B, which he said was a dream come true. After his stint in the US, he’s ready to bring his cabaret show to an Australian audience and says he’s excited to explore this great southern land.

While the show isn’t an intellectual night out, Gilbertson promises the audience will be thoroughly entertained, with help from his seven-piece backing band The Ungrateful Bastards. Not to mention the surprises he has hiding up his sleeve.

“It’s a Kylie Minogue show on a Danii Minogue budget,” and you can be sure that Hans will be getting the accordion out.

According to Gilbertson, inspiration for the show came through realising that the world isn’t a great place right now and while it’s good to acknowledge what’s happening, it’s also good to switch off for the night. Without giving too much away, he assures there’ll be plenty of dancing, singing and sparkles to keep everybody entertained.

While the show is advertised as going for about an hour, Hans says it comes down to who is in the crowd that night as he likes to keep his shows spontaneous. When Hans appeared on Channel 7’s Sunrise in August he said his show was “part therapy session, part cabaret show”.

Hans will perform at the pop-up Wonderland Spiegeltent; a 1930s travelling European circus tent decorated with mirrors and stained glass. There’ll be acrobats, burlesque, cabaret, family-friendly shows, plus comedians and musicians.

When asked if he would be seeing any other shows while in town, Gilbertson said he’s keen to catch Rouge, an adult circus show that’s also happening at the Wonderland Spiegeltent in October. Rouge is a blend of acrobatics, operatic cabaret and tongue-in-cheek burlesque. It’s outrageous, shocking, exciting and definitely not one for children.

Another show to catch if you’ve got time is Bernie Dieter’s Little Death Club. Also set in Germany, it follows the story of Bernie and her dysfunctional family of misfits and freaks. Expect dark comedy, satirical cabaret, gender-bending circus and inappropriate but hilarious burlesque.

Catch Hans: Like a German at Wonderland Spiegeltent on Friday October 11 and Saturday October 12. For more info and tickets, head to hansofficial.com. For info on other shows happening at Wonderland Spiegeltent, visit wonderlandspiegeltent.com.au.