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Review: Hans & Willsy - Twins

Adelaide Fringe

It’s five stars from me for the “one-and-a-half Adelaide icons” that are Matt Gilbertson and Anne Wills. ★★★★★

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With the combined showbiz cred of 19 Logies (all yours, Anne, and the most ever for one person) and 400 years in the business, Hans and Willsy know how to work a crowd.

And didn’t the “sea of grey” at the German Club just love it.

Hans & Willsy: Twins is a night of mutual adoration.  In real life, Gilbertson and Wills are great mates, and their affection for each other is obvious.  And the audience loves them in return.

Yes, we’ve heard all the stories before, and we know the jokes as well as they do, but it’s the way they tell them.  And we love them all the more because they’re our little treasures.

Take your mum, take Granny, take the gay boys next door … just don’t take anyone who’s not from Adelaide.

The show is billed as a night of duets, and they didn’t disappoint.  Glittering like a pair of human disco balls, Hans and Willsy opened with “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart”.  From there, it was a stroll through “Something Stupid” and “Puttin’ on the Ritz”.

As Hans disappeared for a quick costume change, Willsy was joined by her sister Sue to belt out a few numbers from the 1960s.  The Wills Sisters were hugely popular touring Vietnam entertaining the Australian troops during the war.  Their insanely tiny Prue Acton mini dresses were probably very popular, too!

Together on stage, the sisters revisited their old numbers, including a lovely cover of “Crying in the Rain”.

And then it was Hans, looking seriously slim and leggy, working the crowd with the 1995 Mardi Gras anthem “It’s Raining Men” and a pseudo-German version of Kylie’s “I Should Be So Lucky”. Yes, the accordion made an appearance, and there was the almost-embarrassing audience participation.

Throughout the show, Hans and Willsy were well supported by The Triplets, a trio of drums, keyboard and guitar. The Lucky Bitches, Hans’ usual dance troupe, was nowhere to be seen –naughty Willsy had spent the money on ear-rings.

The two are both darlings of the local gay community and this was reflected in the audience, a curious mix of ageing fans and well-known drag queens (and ageing drag queens…).  Friday night’s audience was also treated to a super-special guest appearance by comedian Mark Trevorrow, better known as his safari-suited alter-ego Bob Downe.

The German Club is not the perfect venue for this show, leaving Hans dancing in the dark for a few numbers, but together Hans and Willsy were in Spangly Heaven and everybody was happy.

Five stars

Hans & Willsy: Twins plays one more show on Sunday, February 28, at the Salisbury Secret Garden. And you can still see Hans in Viva Hans Vegas in the Garden of Unearthly Delights on March 10 and 12.


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