‘Culture shock’: Hannah Gadsby on marriage with wife Jenney

hannah gadsby jenney shamash wedding marriage relationship
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Hannah Gadsby has opened up about how she met and married her “spouse-lady” Jenney Shamash, after spending the pandemic together in Australia.

The Aussie stand-up performer surprised and delighted fans by announcing on Instagram she’d tied the knot with Jenney, a producer, in January 2021 and was “very chuffed about it.”

Gadsby told The Times she met her wife on a trip to New York in 2018 to perform her subversive stand-up show Nanette off-Broadway.

Jenney Shamash was assigned to Gadsby as a producer for the show. She was the first person Gadsby met when she got off the plane.

The pair became friends and continued to work together, before later becoming a couple.

They then travelled around the world together as Gadsby toured her follow-up show, Douglas, in 2019.

Gadsby explained the pair got off to a good start because Shamash was aware of Gadsby’s 2017 autism diagnosis and as a result, both understood their different ways of thinking.

“Having not understood myself for so much of my life, I feel like I speak two languages,” Gadsby said.

“And I’m only just learning my natural language.”

Hannah Gadbsy and Shamash would return to Australia, originally planning to spend only a fortnight at Gadsby’s home in regional Victoria in 2020.

However due to the pandemic, the pair were suddenly faced the pressure of being stuck there.

“Culture shock for Jenno, she’s the coastal elite,” Gadsby said. Shamash grew up in California before working in New York.

In January 2021, the couple tied the knot in the front yard of the home in regional Victoria.

“We are doing all right. We are going strong,” Gadsby told The Times.

Hannah Gadsby is releasing her first book this month

In her latest stand-up show Body of Work, Hannah Gadsby shares more stories about “spouse-lady” Jenney.

Gadsby toured Australia with the show last year and is now taking it around the world. She said unlike Nanette, Body of Work is “a feelgood show.”

“It’s like a hug. I want to give the audience a warm embrace,” she told The Times.


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A post shared by Dr. Hannah Gadsby (@hannah_gadsby)

Later this month, Hannah Gadsby will also release her first book, titled Ten Steps to Nanette, on March 29.

The “equal parts harrowing and hilarious” book will share with readers Gadsby’s life-long backstory to the 2018 stand up show Nanette that made her a global star.

She told The Times she’s proud to finally get the book finished but it was “hell on wheels” to write because it returned her to her life before Nanette.

Nanette broke me through, so the traumas that were triggering me are no longer memories,” she said.

“I think what I did was extreme exposure therapy, which was not fun.

“But ultimately it meant that I now feel very free as a performer.”

Circling back was “unpleasant”, Gadsby explained, but “having finished the book, I feel like I have a very clean slate.”

“My childhood and early adulthood cast a very long shadow on my life,” she said.

“I feel like I’ve come to the other side of that and I am living in a bit of sunlight.

“Which is sad because the world is falling apart, but on a personal level I have overcome a lot.”

Hannah Gadsby is returning to Australia with Body of Work for dates in Melbourne and Newcastle in August and September. Ten Steps to Nanette is out on March 29.

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