You probably haven’t heard “arsehole” sung beautifully until you’ve heard Gillian Cosgriff sing it.
Cosgriff has brought back her multi-award winning show This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things to Melbourne’s The Butterfly Club before heading to Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
It’s not hard to see why she won the Best Cabaret Award at 2013’s Melbourne Fringe and a Green Room Award for Best Original Songs. Her humour is intelligent and relatable.
After graduating from WAAPA in 2010, Cosgriff set up shop in Melbourne to write her own shows and follow various theatre-related pursuits. Clad in a gold sequined skirt and enviable pin-curled hair, Cosgriff’s latest offering packs a confident punch.
Cosgriff portrays herself as a potato-cake eating (potato is a vegie, okay?), no-pants wearing, procrastinating/procrastibating, tax-avoiding almost-adult.
With her own stories and songs accompanied by her piano and ukulele, the music is remarkably fulfilling and allows for a closer appreciation of her clever lyrics.
Some of her material is being recycled, while some is brand new for 2016’s version of This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. Every joke lands, eliciting many cackles and embarrassingly-too-loud laughs. Cosgriff holds a captive audience in the palm of her hand, knowing exactly how to get her desired reaction from each thoughtful line or rhyme.
To preface her song ‘Inspiration’, Cosgriff said: “I don’t mind happiness, but I think the internet is turning it into a cult. I don’t believe that anyone who is genuinely happy needs to run around screaming: hey everyone, come look at my happiness!”. Needless to say, she has her sights firmly set on destroying her “least favourite” hashtag: #blessed.
Cosgriff transitions effortlessly between chatting, singing and accompaniment for her chatting. Her spoken words are as delectable as her lyrics, and her singing voice has an extraordinary tone to it not often heard in theatre performers.
Her song ‘To My 16-Year-Old Self’ allows her to ask a few audience members what they’d say to their teen selves. She explained that earlier in the week, someone yelled “FREEZE YOUR EGGS”, and upon finishing telling this story, Cosgriff simply said: “eggscellent”.
Gillian Cosgriff is enjoyable as a singer, a comedian, a musician and a theatre performer, each in their own right. She has masterfully wrapped her talents into a quirky, blunt and sometimes unexpected little gift, tied up with a ribbon made of sharp language and witty anecdotes.
Once Cosgriff finished, a man a row in front of me said something that ended in “… Tim Minchin”. Minchin is someone she’s been compared to for years.
This Queen of Cabaret is sure to go from strength to strength. One thing is certain: this talented lady deserves any and all accolades she receives.
Gillian Cosgriff’s This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things is on until 10 July 2016 at The Butterfly Club.