Category Archives: Mary Contrary

Hannah Gadsby is having a Very Good Day!

Hannah Gadsby has received TWO 5 Star reviews today!

Her art lecture Mary. Contrary. got ***** from Chortle, although she did the last one yesterday so you’ve missed your chance to see it!

But Hannah’s stand-up show Mrs Chuckles got ***** from Three Weeks and you can catch her last two performances tomorrow and monday!

Hannah Gadsby: Mary. Contrary.
Live Review
Hannah Gadsby: Mary. Contrary rated 5/5
I so hope this is an early preview for next year! This show made me laugh harder and more than anything else I’ve seen this Fringe and I came out feeling at least temporarily better educated than when I’d gone in, there were also gales of laughter from everyone else, delighted to have an unusual subject on offer.This is a lightning-fast history of art lecture on the religious iconography of the Virgin Mary in Western Art, richly illustrated with images from all over. Doesn’t sound like a scream, but Gadsby’s ironic wit, light touch and masterful grasp of her subject had the audience guffawing away.This wasn’t any smug, self-congratulatory sniggering in a QI way, but proper snorting, belly laughs. The Ascent Of Christ provided a particularly rich seam of hilarity. Be assured, if necessary, this isn’t disrespectful to cherished beliefs, it’s not sneering in any way about religion, but there is a lot of humour to be had from the examination of the visual interpretations of the sustaining myths of Christianity, as well as the revelations about the artists, society and economy driving the production of the works.

As well as being entertaining and informative, this is by definition an absolutely beautiful show, with hundreds of richly gorgeous images on which to feast your eyes. There was audible disappointment when Gadsby finished, we would all have stayed another hour without hesitation.

With just five performances this Fringe to run it in, this should definitely come back next year. If you’ve seen it, you’ll want to see it again, and if you haven’t, it’s an absolute treat of a show.

Review by Julia Chamberlain

Date of live review: Saturday 27th Aug, ’11

Hannah Gadsby – Mrs Chuckles

EdCom And Dick The Horse

I am in love. Who would have thought that someone so casual and relaxed could be so side-achingly hilarious? As Hannah talked about her love of biscuits, her inability to contribute to conversations in social situations, and what she wants her final words to be, everyone in the audience was in hysterics. Hidden talents such as an uncanny Donald Duck impersonation and the ‘throat fart’ only made the audience fall that little bit more in love with her, while stories from her trips to Vietnam and acceptance of her own sexuality were delivered with exceptional comic timing. This show is so good, it should come with a hazard warning because you may actually laugh your arse off.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 3 – 29 Aug (not 15), 4.45pm (5.45pm), £8.00 – £12.00, fpp86.
tw rating 5/5

Hannah Gadsby – Mary. Contrary. **** Three Weeks

Everyone is talking about Hannah Gadsby’s ‘unintentionally’ hilarious Art Lecture on the Virgin Mary, there is only one more performance of it today and it just got another 4 Star Review!

Hannah Gadsby – Mary. Contrary.
EdCom & Dick The Horse

Taking the form of an art history lecture about the Virgin Mary, ‘Mary. Contrary.’ is an interesting and humorous way to spend an hour. Former art history student Hannah Gadsby shares her passion for religious art that depicts everyone’s favourite virgin. Not a promising topic for an hour’s comedy, you might think, but Gadsby’s enthusiastic and offbeat take on the paintings under discussion ensures plenty of laughs. She clearly knows her stuff, too, with some of the best gags coming from her merciless dissection of the artists’ abilities. Occasionally her passion for her subject results in too much art and not enough gags, but these moments are few and far between. This is a funny, intelligent and charming show.

Guilded Balloon Teviot, 17 – 26 Aug (not 20 – 23), 2.00pm (3.00pm), £8.00 – £12.00, fpp 85.
tw rating 4/5

Three Weeks

Read Hannah’s 4 Star from The Scotsman review for Mary. Contrary. Here

Or, buy tickets for the last show today at 2pm here!

Hannah Gadsby’s Mary. Contrary has been given **** by the Scotsman!

“This is a lecture about art” says Hannah Gadsby, as she takes her place behind the lectern. It certainly bore all the hallmarks of a lecture – lectern, screen with relevant slides, laser pointer – but this was funny and irreverent, personal and occasionally silly.

We giggled to hear the great artists of the High Renaissance introduced as the Turtles (Michaelangelo, Raphael and Donatello), giggled again as the creator of the Sistine Chapel ceiling was described, after reference to his obsession with human anatomy and emphasis on extreme musculature in all his figures, as a “big gayer”.

Gadsby (who does actually know about this stuff, with a degree and everything) comments enthusiastically on images of the Madonna from earliest times to the Renaissance. “Look at that halo” she murmurs, the red point of her laser pointer dancing over the screen. “It’s like you’re there”.

One of the best things about this show is that you do learn the full story of the Madonna (ever so slightly airbrushed from the original Gospels after the Crucifixon) and about her importance in art, religion and society. You also learn about the differences in the various artistic movements, and you learn that there might be someone up there after all, as we watch the large painting of the Madonna spontaneously fall off its perch halfway through the show after a particularly saucy section about the Annunciation.

The show is, says Gadsby “mildly blasphemous”. But it is hugely entertaining and absolutely fascinating. It is one thing to wear one’s knowledge lightly; Gadsby barely wears it at all, just casually flinging fact-studded asides at a packed and rapt audience.

Renaissances High, Northern and Proto, the progression from Intuitive to Atmospheric and One-Point Perspective and the momentous effect of the invention of oils might not sound like the stuff of the Fringe comedy. But there are shows with way fewer funnies than this, and they will never show you round the murals in the Scrovegni Chapel.

Later in the day Hannah returns with her regular stand-up hour, Mrs Chuckles. Ironic title, as you will have guessed: Hannah rarely chuckles (although her recent discovery of Tunnock’s Teacakes appears to have cheered her up a fair old bit). We, on the other hand do, rather a lot. Hannah comes from a tiny town in Tasmania, didn’t meet a stranger until she was seven and had three big claims to fame in her schooldays. She is a fan of silence, useless at small talk but fascinated by last words.

Her show is not packed with comedy gimmick or one- liners, but it is an hour of sheer smiley, relaxed enjoyment. Were it potable, Mrs Chuckles would not be a smart cosmopolitan or a laddish pint of Stella, but a big mug of hot chocolate with a large shot of brandy. Try and see both shows before Divine Vengeance is wrought upon her for the dodgy comments about Jesus’s mum.

Kate Copstick (23/8/11)


Buy Tickets for Mary. Contrary. Here

Buy Tickets for Mrs Chuckles Here