Hannah Gadsby: Douglas
Having a career in the public eye can engender one of two things: a meteoric rise in popularity or an eye-watering legion of haters. For Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby, the “Marmite effect” has taken hold so much that the performer must dedicate the first fifteen minutes of her show to getting a few thoughts off her chest.
Gadsby’s special proceeds to deal with cultural misappropriations, namely that of the arbitrary nature of linguistics. The Americanisation of language is a hot topic; why use “sweater” and not “jumper”? On another note, why is there no clinical term for the pill, and what explanation is given behind labelling distressed women as “hormonal”? As the narrative continues, Gadsby takes the debate to higher heights, introducing the Romans and the Ancient Greeks to back up some of her theories on patriarchal norms. As a result, she demonstrates the extent to which this ideology has been etched into society.
Given that Douglas, named after the entertainer’s beloved dog, is a stand-up act, much of the anecdotes read as lectures. Gadsby’s style veers towards dark humour; she does not make jokes simply for the sake of it. Her accounts have something to say about the world we live in, about gender imbalance, misogyny, and discrimination, not to mention how those with special needs tend to struggle with fitting in, and how this must be rectified.
Hannah Gadsby: Douglas is released digitally on demand on 26th May 2020.
Watch the trailer for Hannah Gadsby: Douglas here: