Last night my husband and I braved the rain, traffic, and road works to get to the Brisbane Powerhouse for shows by Hannah Gadsby and Asher Treleaven.

We’d not seen either of them live before, although we had seen Hannah on TV. I’d booked tickets for Asher’s show purely on recommendation from another Tim Minchin fan. I haven’t been steered wrong by a Tim fan yet, having been recommended The Pajama Men’s Last Stand To Reason, and Sammy J & Randy’s 30 Ricketts Lane last year by Tim fans, so I knew we were in for a good night.

Anyway, Hannah’s show Mrs Chuckles was first up in the Visy Theatre, a cosy room with seating for up to 200 people in a sort of semi-circle around the stage.  We knew what Hannah was like from watching Adam Hills In Gordon Street Tonight. Her style is the same as on TV, a slow, even delivery, with brilliant timing, sometimes she doesn’t even have to talk, a pause and a few funny expressions caused many chuckles throughout the room. Her mind is anything but slow though, she can also improvise quick responses to the audience. I suggest you don’t arrive late or go for a wee unless you want to become a part of the show, but don’t worry, she’s not nasty with it, it’s all in good fun.

The show mainly covers stories of her social ineptitude, along with her concern at choosing exactly the right last words to sum up her life. Her lack of people skills often causes her to walk away from any situation in her ‘too hard basket’. In one of the stories she tells us of her high school reunion where she over-compensates for her social inadequacy and ends up having a conversation she really didn’t want to be a part of, I think the awkwardness of that situation was my favourite bit of the night.

Hannah did have a merchandise stall where she sold and signed her DVDS ($25.00) but we decided to buy it when we’re more financial: especially after splurging on Tim Minchin merchandise the night before.

Then, after the embarrassment of trying to enter the Visy Theatre again and finding out we’d been standing in the wrong queue we scurried across to the Turbine Rehearsal Room opposite for Asher Treleaven’s show, Secret Door. The room was dark and tiny and already full of laughter as we managed to sneak to the back row without being noticed. We must have missed about ten minutes, which was a shame. At first, I didn’t know what was going on, but I soon warmed to him. The delivery could not have been more different to the show we’d just seen. Asher is very confident, and his body language physical and expressive, sometimes explosively so. If Hannah and Asher ever did a double act, he’d be the flamboyant, gregarious funny man to Hannah’s ‘straight man’. Yes I know that sounds a bit weird.

At first I thought Asher was gay too, turns out he’s not, but that was typical of the show, there were surprising twists and turns and the pushing of  boundaries all over the place. But it wasn’t crude for crude’s sake, it was absolutely filthy in places, but for comedy’s sake. He said at the end of the night that we’d been the best crowd all week, he also mentioned during the night that he’d slipped in a joke that he hadn’t dared to with the other audiences that week: we must have been a pretty ribald lot in that dingy den of iniquity on a dark and rainy Saturday night.

My favourite part of Asher’s show was the reading aloud of his sex bible, a Mills & Boon novel. His showmanship really shone brightly during this reading. I would definitely like to see more of Asher Treleaven, but due to some audience participation I’d probably try to sit at the back again… but next time I will not be late.