[Before]: This is Mum and I, all smiles, not just because we had a whole night to talk without my kids interrupting us, but because we were about to do something arty at the @artscentremelbourne . I knew nothing about Hannah Gadsby before @clarebowditch told me to buy tickets to @thegadsby final show, Nanette. (And I'm easily influenced by things Clare Bowditch says.) .
[Middle]: There were laugh-induced tears (as you'd expect). And there were sad tears too. There was a palpable tension in the air, which Hannah (rightly) refused to resolve with her self-deprecating comedy. I was reminded that stories -- cathartic and powerful stories -- are needed now more than ever than clever punch lines. Stories are especially needed from people like Hannah, who have sacrificed their own happiness through the survival strategy of humour. .
[After]: I want to leave you with a final call to action, but tickets for Hannah's final show are probably sold out. Instead, I'm left with questions like: now that she's quit comedy, what will Hannah do next? Will she be ok? How can she put her art history degree to good use? (Joke). Will Hannah, and "her people" ever feel fully accepted and loved and appreciated for who they are, in this country? (No joke.) Will we ever get over our obsession with gender and see each other as equal humans trying to be happy in this world?
Hannah, if you're reading this: your story telling deeply affected me. I wish you nothing but a full and happy life. You are a beautiful human, whether you bring the humour or not.
Arts Centre Melbourne