Adelaide’s favourite fake German, Berlin Boy Wonder and Willsy’s favourite accessory, Hans (AKA Matt Gilbertson), is back for Fringe Festival, and he’s sparklier than ever.
We arranged to speak to Hans as part of our 16 for ’16 spectacular, but unfortunately he was out to lunch when we called, so we rescheduled for later in the day.
Knowing how much we love him, Hans cleared his schedule and removed all distractions in order to chat with us over the phone about Viva Hans Vegas.
The new comedy cabaret is playing for three nights in The Spiegeltent at The Garden of Unearthly Delights, and Hans was keen to chat with us about it on our big day:
Libby: Hi Hans! Let’s talk about Viva Hans Vegas!
Hans: Honey, let me just say, Libby, it’s going to be booze, showgirls, show tunes, gambling; it’s Nick Xenophon’s least favourite show at the Adelaide Fringe, but I’ve got a feeling Jamie Briggs is going to love it. When the chips are down, Jamie, come see your old Aunty Hans!
Libby: So you’ve got your usual backing band and dancers?
Hans: Yes, I’ll be accompanied by The Ungrateful Bastards and, my dancers, The Lucky Bitches. Or as Peter Dutton calls them, the Mad F*cking Witches! Oh God, I hope these jokes aren’t old by Fringe. We’ve got to use them while they’re hot!
Libby: Your show is about your lifelong desire to perform in Sin City. Have you actually been to Vegas?
Hans: I have not been to Vegas due to restrictions on my Visa, however, Libby if I can let you in on quite a heartbreaking detail, I was in the running to get my own residency, but they wanted something a little gayer, so Human Nature ended up with the gig.
At this point, there’s a long and detailed discussion between Libby and Hans about Human Nature and which one was ‘the hot one’.
Libby: Do you think you could beat Celine Dion in an arm wrestle?
Hans: Probably not. Look at her! She’s quite slight, so you think she’d be meek and mild, but then she’d bowl you over with some, “My Hans Will Go On.”
Interrupting audio, there appears to be a slightly inaudible computerised female voice coming down the line.
Libby: Hans, where are you at the moment?
Hans: I’m on the tram, darling. This is tram talk.
Libby: I suppose that’s better than trash talk.
Hans: Oh, we can do that, too.
Libby: How many people are on the tram? Are they listening?
Hans: It’s completely packed. Of course they’re listening; that’s the sport of public transport.
Libby: Let’s get back to Human Nature.
Hans: Must we?
Libby: Yes. Will there be any Human Nature or Elton in this show?
Hans: Look, who knows? Potentially. There’s definitely be a bit of Celine, because I really feel like she’s the reigning queen of Vegas. That is, until I get there. If you look at some of the greats, you know like Frank Sinatra and Liberace, I think Celine is right up there. When you think Vegas, you think Celine. How sad. If anything says that city needs me more than ever, it’s that Celine Dion is the main attraction.
Libby: What are you looking forward to about bringing this show to Fringe, and how does it differ from your other ones?
Hans: Some may say after last year, it couldn’t get much better, but let me tell you, Libby: it is. I am doing everything I can do, and can’t do, in this show. This should really be my final show ever, because I don’t think I’m going to top it.
I’m tapping, playing piano, there’s accordion; the feathers are bigger, the glitter is sparklier and I have many tricks up my sleeve, including new cast members. I don’t want to give too much away, but I have actually had to go to classes to learn something that I’m planning to do in this show. I know you can’t teach what I do, but it turns out, you can.
Libby: Oh, go on. Tell me what it is!
Hans: Ok then…
Suddenly, as if by some strange coincidence, the audio cuts out here and is replaced by a flood of Indistinguishable sounds like maybe the tram screeching and probably a baby crying or something.
Hans: … and that’s what I’m doing. Pretty amazing, huh?
Libby: Wow. That is impressive! I can’t wait to see that! Now, each year, you invite special guests to your shows. Who is it this year?
Hans: I can’t say. There are guests, but I can’t say. Let me just tell you though, that Wills woman will not be appearing this year. She’s got her own show and I’m her guest.
Libby: Did you do that because you were tired of her stealing your thunder?
Hans: Basically, yes. I don’t want to be mean, because, you know, she’s very old, but I think it’s cruel to be compared to me. Cruel for her.
Libby: Will you be able to keep up with her in Twins?
Hans: Absolutely not. The woman is 700 years old and is busier than anyone I know. Everyday I speak to her, she’s at Wallis, or in Mount Barker, she’s everywhere. She’s always hosting something.
Libby and Hans get distracted talking about how much they like Willsy and things they want printed on t-shirts one day. Hans then brings back the focus.
Hans: Look, in terms of special guests, a few years ago, I got some Twitter hate. It’s the only time I’ve had Twitter hate, and it was from SA Young Labor women, who wanted to know why I didn’t have any skimpily dressed young men on the stage. They obviously completely missed the fake German in hot pants there. Without giving too much away, I have taken heed of that tweet.
Libby: Oh my god! Human Nature?!
Hans: Ha ha. No.
Libby: Oh. Ok, well Anaconda was the big song last year, what’s this year’s showstopper?
Hans: I don’t know! I love all of them. There’s too many to choose from. I’ll be sick of them all by the time I perform, but at the moment, I really like them. There’s a bit of old Vegas meets New Vegas.
Libby: And tell me about your costumes.
Hans: I’ve had to have some of them imported! But let me just say, there will be a shortage at Maggie Beer’s pheasant farm.
Libby: That’s all I’ve got for you.
Hans: That’d be right, we’ve just come to my tram stop.
Libby: See you at the show!
Hans: Thanks for having me.
Viva Hans Vegas is playing at The Spiegeltent on February 16, and March 10 and 12.
Grab your tickets to by clicking here, but hurry, because Hans’ shows sell out very fast.
By Libby Parker
Libby Parker is a journalist, teacher and life enthusiast.
You can follow her on Twitter at @upsidenews_li