Nanette (show)

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Written byHannah Gadsby
StarringHannah Gadsby
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
Running time
69 minutes

Nanette (also known as Hannah Gadsby: Nanette) is a stand-up comedy act written and performed by Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby, which debuted in 2017. The work includes social commentary, especially about LGBTQ issues. In June 2018, Netflix released a video of Gadsby's performance of the work at the Sydney Opera House. Gadsby's live performances and the video have received critical acclaim.


Gadsby created the stand-up show she named Nanette partly as a response to the uncivil public debate which took place in Australia before the law was changed to allow same-sex marriage, and soon after her diagnosis of ADHD and autism.[1]

The show was originally named after a barista Gadsby had met casually,[1] whom she thought could be turned into an hour's worth of material. During the writing process she realised this wasn't the case, but the name had already been chosen. She ended up ignoring this inconsistency and wrote an hour of material unrelated to Nanette.[2] The initial shows were more combative with the audience, and made Gadsby feel victimised, so to get the audience more on her side she added more jokes and relieved more tension throughout the show's run.[3]


Gadsby uses the piece to deconstruct the nature of comedy and asks the "straight white male" to undergo the same tension that marginalized people go through every day. She does this by explaining her experience as a lesbian and gender non-conforming woman. She explains that some are brought up to hate themselves, while others are brought up with the licence to hate others. Her realisation is that the self-deprecating humour common to standup comedy is doubly painful for marginalised people, because it is joining the chorus of people who insult and belittle them already. This leads her to conclude that she can no longer do standup comedy, and structures the piece around claiming she is giving up comedy. She has since stated that she is not doing so after all due to the surprising response to her show.[3]


Gadsby has performed Nanette throughout Australia, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and in the United States. Her 2018 performances in New York City received positive reviews.[4][5] The show was performed for the final time on 27 July 2018, in Montreal.


Nanette won Best Comedy at the 2017 Adelaide Fringe Festival.[6][7]

In April 2017 Nanette won the Barry Award for the most outstanding comedy act at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.[8]

In July 2017 Gadsby won the Best Comedy Performer for Nanette at the annual Helpmann Awards.[9]

At the 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Awards, Nanette was joint winner of the award for Best Comedy Show with John Robins.[10]


On 20 June 2018, Netflix released a film of Gadsby's performance of the work at the Sydney Opera House under the title Hannah Gadsby: Nanette. The film has received widespread acclaim.[11][12][13]

In 2018, Netflix released the film version of Nanette, which brought her to the attention of international audiences.[14][15]

As of 14 April 2018, on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the video held an approval rating of 100% based on 44 reviews, and with the following critical consensus: "Hannah Gadsby: Nanette brilliantly moves modern comedy into nakedly honest new territory, pivoting from dry humor to raw, powerful storytelling."[16]


  1. ^ a b "Hannah Gadsby BA '03". Australian National University. 29 March 2019. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Hannah Gadsby Got Into Comedy Because of a Broken Wrist". Late Night with Seth Meyers. YouTube. 15 June 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Hannah Gadsby Chats About Her Netflix Special, 'Hannah Gadsby: Nanette'". YouTube. 19 June 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  4. ^ Zinoman, Jason (19 March 2018). "Introducing a Major New Voice in Comedy (Who Also Attacks Comedy)". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  5. ^ Da Costa, Cassie (2 May 2018). "The Funny, Furious Anti-Comedy of Hannah Gadsby". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  6. ^ "Edinburgh Fringe Festival: Hannah Gadsby named joint winner of Comedy Award". ABC News. AAP. 27 August 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Banksa Overall Fringe Award Winners - Best Comedy". Adelaide Fringe. 19 March 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  8. ^ Francis, Hannah (23 April 2017). "Hannah Gadsby wins Barry Award at 2017 Melbourne International Comedy Festival". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  9. ^ Francis, Hannah (25 July 2017). "Helpmann Awards 2017 winners: Kosky's Saul and Belvoir's The Drover's Wife dominate". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  10. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (26 August 2017). "Edinburgh festival fringe comedy award shared for first time". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  11. ^ Ganajan, Mahita (18 June 2018). "How Hannah Gadsby Channeled Her Own Trauma, Bill Cosby and Monica Lewinsky in the New Netflix Comedy Special 'Nanette'". Time. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  12. ^ Husband, Andrew (18 June 2018). "Hannah Gadsby Wants 'Nanette' To Give You 'A Shock'". Forbes. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  13. ^ von Busack, Richard (18 July 2018). "Tasmanian Tigress". North Bay Bohemian. Metro Newspapers. p. 22. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  14. ^ Zinoman, Jason (19 March 2018). "Introducing a Major New Voice in Comedy (Who Also Attacks Comedy)". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Logan, Brian (19 August 2017). "Hannah Gadsby review – electrifying farewell to standup". The Guardian.
  16. ^ "Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on 14 April 2019. Retrieved 4 April 2019.

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