Hans the German is back for Cabaret Fringe and this time, he’s taking us home with him.
Hans’ Haus Party is his new show and it is playing at, none other than, The German Club on Flinders Street.
Saving the best until last, the Cabaret Fringe Festival, celebrating its tenth edition, will run from 29th May until 28th June with Hans’ (almost) grand finale showing on the 26th which the Berlin Boy Wonder believes is no accident.
“Look, I don’t want to throw around the word ‘headliner’ but you know, let’s face it, who else is there? Nobody’s going to top this. I’m at the end of the Cabaret Fringe and the Cabaret Festival; nothing’s going to beat it so why peak early? That’s always been my motto in life. I am the end of the financial year. You can write me off as a tax deduction!” he says.
Celebrating the event in style at his favourite Adelaide watering hole, Hans (A.K.A Matt Gilbertson) planned his show with his fans in mind.
“This is a party. I thought that’s what the end of Cabaret Fringe needs: a nice chance for everybody to sit back, indulge in a bit of me and do what Germans and Australians do best, and that is drink! Where better than the German club for that?” he laughs.
Riding on the back of the huge success that was Hans in Das Haus, (his tribute to hip hop during Adelaide Fringe Festival this year), Hans’ Haus Party will feature an encore of some of the highlights from that show.
“There’s going to be a little bit of what you saw during Fringe because I’ve been welcomed into the hip hop community with open arms. I’ve got a lot of street cred now thanks to Hans in Das Haus. They call me, ‘Gay-Z in the hood’. Obviously I’ve got to be true to that so I’ll be doing a bit of hip hop in the first half and then the second half will be some of my greatest hits – that I never actually released first, but that was just some sort of chronological accident,” he admits.
Hans in Das Haus featured special guest appearances by an Adelaide senior citizens choir, as well as a duet with Willsy; but not to be outdone by his own prowess, Hans is planning something just as spectacular this time.
“There is somebody very special that I have never worked with before, but I’m currently in rehearsal with,” he says, cryptically. ”Let me just say, it is a nod to the German Club and my own cultural heritage.”
But before the main event at the end of June, Hans is bookending the festival by hosting the Cabaret Fringe Opening Gala tonight.
Also playing at The German Club, the Gala will feature an appearance by Adelaide’s famous Berlin Cabaret.
“I am hosting the Cabaret Fringe Opening Gala with my former co-stars of Berlin Cabaret,” Hans says. “We performed every Friday night on Hindley Street – picture it if you can – at the Weimar Room which used to be Downtown Leisure Centre. Some people say we were an institution, but I think that sounds like a hospital, which is what some people might be needing after the show, myself included.”
Berlin Cabaret at The German Club with Hans the Boy Wonder of Berlin sounds like the perfect recipe for the launch of Adelaide’s Cabaret Fringe Festival; and while we’re in Hans’ haus, he says anything goes.
“You should behave in my house with as much debauchery as possible. Treat my house as it is your house. Take your shoes off; get naked for all I care. In fact, I encourage it. Unlike Cabaret Festival, there are no rules in my show!” he says.
As well as his own show, Hans is looking forward to immersing himself in the Cabaret culture during the festival season.
“Adelaide has a very vibrant cabaret community and I’m looking forward to that being celebrated. People always say you need to go to Sydney and you need to go to Melbourne, or this place or that place, but I’m living proof you don’t. I came from Berlin to Adelaide,” he says.
“Frankly, I see Adelaide as the entertainment capital of the world. It might not have been before I got here but it certainly is now. I mean, especially after Eurovision, the Germans are begging me to come back now. I’m waiting by the telephone. Any time you’re ready, Germany, we can rectify it! Let’s face it, they can’t get any worse. I would say the Eurovision results are the most embarrassing thing in Germany’s history. Apart from two world wars and one world cup.”
As well as the rich cabaret culture and the celebration of Adelaide talent, Hans also enjoys the community spirit at this time of year.
“What I like about Cabaret Fringe, is well, you know in the comedy world, there’s always an undertone of competition? It’s a bit of a boys club. But at Cabaret Fringe, everybody’s acts are quite different so everyone is really complimentary towards each other and people want to learn things from each other. And, there’s a lot of drunk sluts in town so I like to take advantage of that as much as I can,” he says.
And his hot tip for the Festival? Well, of course it’s Beyoncé influenced!
“I really like The Silhouettes. They’re really fun. They’re a dance group. They’re a little bit Beyoncé meets Tina Turner meets a kind of Latino wonderland. There’s also a wonderful show called Food Court Cabaret which stars my dear friend Catherine Campbell who actually discovered me in the Central Market many years ago,” he says.
“I’m not even making this up. I was busking playing The Communards’ ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way;’ and she spotted me and said, ‘Join Berlin Cabaret!’ Here I was, just a German exchange student and I stayed. Don’t tell Tony Abbott! Otherwise, it’ll be In Das Haus Christmas Island. I don’t know how my show would go down in Nauru.”
There are limited tickets left to see the sassiest pseudo German in town this Cabaret Fringe so get your Lederhosen on and get to The German Club to join Hans’ Haus Party.
Hans’ Haus Party:
26th June at 8pm (Doors open & dinner available from 7pm)
The German Club, 223 Flinders St, Adelaide.
TICKETS: Adult $35, Concession $33, Trev $33, Groups 6 $30.
By Libby Parker