Beloved South Australian entertainer, Matt Gilbertson – Hans, “International superstar” has been announced as the recipient of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2023 Icon Award at The Variety Gala, presented in front of a full house at the Festival Theatre tonight.
Australia’s favourite Berlin boy-wonder and award-winning performer is a crowd favourite at Adelaide Cabaret Festival and has performed his own sold-out shows throughout the years, including playing the outrageous host of The Variety Gala in 2021 alongside Artistic Director, Alan Cumming.
In 2018, Hans won the hearts of 16 million Americans with his cheeky and electrifying song and dance routines on NBC TV series, America’s Got Talent and returned to the USA to appear on America’s Got Talent: The Champions, competing against the very best contestants from around the world before making it to the Grand Final: In his own words, “Darling, I went there to make America glitter again. It was calling me, and I answered!”
Adelaide Cabaret Festival Executive Producer Alex Sinclair: “This year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival Icon Award has been presented to one of the most deserving performers and a long and loyal friend of Adelaide Festival Centre. Matt Gilbertson – Hans – encompasses everything that makes a cabaret artist glitter; wit, charm, musicality, talent, tenacity, and the special ability to make audiences belly laugh. We are sure South Australians will join us in celebrating Matt’s incredible contribution to the entertainment and arts industry locally, nationally and around the world.”
Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s Cabaret Icon Award celebrates and acknowledges pioneers and prominent figures that have had a significant impact on the Australian cabaret industry. The first Cabaret Icon Award was presented in 2013 when the festival was under the artistic direction of Kate Ceberano. The Award is now an annual tradition the festival is proud to present to the country’s finest cabaret creators.
Previous recipients of the award include the inaugural recipient Reg Livermore AO (2013), Rhonda Burchmore OAM (2014), Frank Ford AM (2015), Robyn Archer AO (2016), Debra Byrne (2017), David Bates (2018), Meow Meow (2019), David Campbell OAM (2020), Paul Capsis (2021) and Libby O’Donovan OAM (2022).
Boozier than Oktoberfest, more drive than a Volkswagen, and more sausage than a bratwurst convention, I am Hans - Germany’s proudest and hottest export. I'm an international superstar, sex symbol, accordionist and Berlin boy-wonder who has been thrilling audiences around the globe with my own fabulous brand of award-winning comedy cabaret for over a decade. I've performed for everyone, from Prime Ministers to Princesses.
In 2018 I won the hearts of 16 million Americans with my cheeky and electrifying song and dance routines on NBC’s juggernaut TV series, America’s Got Talent. As I say, “Darling, I went there to make America glitter again. It was calling me and I answered.” Flash forward to 2020 and I put my foot down on the gas of my luxury German four-wheel drive as I accepted my invitation to return to the USA and appear on America’s Got Talent: The Champions (NBC). Competing against the very best contestants from the US and Europe, I made it through to the Grand Final and was declared one of the ten best entertainers in the world (no, really, look it up).
My original production of Hans: Like a German debuted to sell-out crowds at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2019, winning the Best Cabaret award and followed by a nationwide tour. Now with an über spring in my step, my brand-new show, Haus of Hans: Disco Spektakulär, premiered at Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020. It was my most ambitious production ever and became the highest-selling comedy cabaret show at the festival, and the highest grossing South Australian production too. To top it all off, I took home the coveted Best Cabaret Award for the second year in a row. Yes honey!Not one to push down my fishnets, I also released my first single in 2020. Oxygen is a disco/dance anthem co-written by me and legendary producer and musical director Chong Lim (of John Farnham and Olivia Newton John fame). On television you may have seen my electrifying medley of Eurovision songs on Eurovision: Australia Decides Live (SBS) and appearances on The Good Friday Appeal (Seven), Sunrise (Seven), The Today Show (Nine), Studio 10 (Ten), The Morning Show (Seven), Carols in The Domain (Seven), SA Weekender (Seven)… you get it, I go where the money is.
- Grand Finalist: America’s Got Talent: The Champions 2020
- Winner: Best Cabaret (Haus of Hans: Disco Spektakulär), Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020
- Winner: Weekly Award (Haus of Hans: Disco Spektakulär), Adelaide Fringe Festival 2020
- Winner: Best Cabaret (Hans: Like a German), Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019
- Winner: Weekly Award (Hans: Like a German), Adelaide Fringe Festival 2019
- Winner: Best Cabaret (Hans: Like a German), Scottish Sun at Edinburgh Festival 2018
- Contestant: America’s Got Talent 2018