From broken foot to Broken Heel: Hans talks festival comeback


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Hans, the German cabaret star turned international sensation, chats to QNews about super-mega-stardom in the outback.

Last year, Berlin’s boy wonder, Hans, was enjoying the perks of international stardom and touring Europe aboard a cruise ship. 

However, tragedy struck when a misstep during a performance on a hydraulic lift sent the star plummeting into the orchestra pit, damaging his spine and shattering his foot.

After an 8-week long hospital stay between Turkey and the UK as well as extensive operations on his foot, Matt Gilbertson (Hans’ real name) was able to return back home to Australia. 

And in a grim twist of irony, the first gig Hans had to pull out of following his hospitalisation was none other than Broken Heel.

“It was kind of a sick joke, really, wasn’t it?” He tells me.

“I was so upset about it too because I was really looking forward to it.

“I had friends of mine who had gone to the Broken Heel festival before and really enjoyed it and it obviously didn’t happen during COVID so I’ve been really excited for a while to join in on the festivities…

“And then I fell down a hydraulic lift.” 

The show must go on

But, as any good cabaret star knows, the show must go on! And after much rest and recovery, Hans is slowly finding his feet once again.

“I’m not fully recovered just yet, but I’m on my way to it. I think I’m at about 70% now.

“I did do a show last week which actually went really well and I probably could move a bit more than I thought I would be able to.

“But you know, there’s a lot of things I still have to do, like making sure I rest it straight after a show”.

Along with the doctor’s orders for plenty of rest and recovery, Hans says he’s also staying away from hydraulic lifts in the meantime as an extra precaution.

However, as he assures me, by the time Broken Heel rolls around, Hans will be back in full swing.

“We’ll definitely be ready to put on a show in September.

“We’re also doing a national tour, with Broken Hill being one of the stops during that.

“So by the time I get to Broken Hill, I’ll have had a few warm up gigs under my belt.”

Welcome to the House of Hans

So what can Broken Heel-goers expect this time around?

“Well, honey,” Hans remarks, “I mean, listen—I know that Kylie Minogue filled in for us last year. It’s gonna be even gayer than that.

“It’s gonna be so gay, I would be shocked if Liza Minnelli doesn’t just manifest, you know. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Judy Garland rose from the grave!

“The ghost of Judy Garland will appear as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and somebody will be saying, ‘Pay no attention to that German man behind the curtain!'” Hans laughs gleefully. 

“We’re bringing a beautiful band, some very, very hot dancers and lots of disco tunes!” He continues.

“We’re ready for fun.”

Life accordion-ing to Hans

And for those nervously anticipating whether Hans’ weapon of choice (the accordion) will make an appearance, fear not!

“Honey, of course! I think it’s what every party needs,” he says.

“I live for the reactions of the audience when I say I’m going to bring out the accordion—It’s a mix of excitement and horror. It’s a beautiful combination.”

But Hans assures the fun doesn’t stop there, since the ‘Hans experience’ is an interactive one:

“There’s a bit of audience participation sometimes, and I love having to choose the right people,” he says.

“I like observing people and watching them squirm.”

I suggest that hopefully the crowd at Broken Hill will be eager participants and on their best behaviour. 

“Ab-so-lutely not. They never are, darling,” he assures me.

But nevertheless, wherever Hans goes, good times are sure to follow.

Be sure not to miss the sensation Hans at Broken Heel Festival 2023. Get your tickets now.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Nate Woodall

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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