Self-loathing is funny. Or at least that’s what Londonist has come to believe over the many, many self-deprecating sets we’ve sat through. Happiness, then, logically, probably isn’t very funny, which Hannah Gadsby points out in the first five minutes of her show at the Soho Theatre.
That concept – ”happiness” – is used like a framing device in Bedside Table: the sudden loss thereof; the long, arduous climb back in. It’s comedy about body issues, and yes, from a lady, but other than those basic foundations Bedside Table is quite unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Gadsby takes the ‘confessional’ thing to whole new heights or depths, depending on how you see it, and it’s all told unromantically, straightforwardly, nakedly.
Gadsby’s delivery circles around and back in on itself a lot, which feels authentic in a show that doesn’t so much dance around her depression as dive right into it, and her stuttering, self-conscious monologue gives the impression of someone giving a speech to a support group.
But, you know, in a funny way.
Hannah Gadsby: Happiness is a Bedside Table is on at the Soho Theatre until 28 September. You can book tickets on the theatre website for £10-£12.50. Londonist saw this performance on a complimentary review ticket.