For newbies to Gillian Cosgriff’s work, it takes about 2.08 minutes to realise that not only is she blessed with great timing and a quirky mind, but she’s also a highly competent musician with an excellent voice.

Since graduating from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) with a Bachelor of Music Theatre, Cosgriff has added a long list of credits to her C.V., from bit parts in TV shows to lead roles in theatre and more than three years with the Melbourne production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Moaning Myrtle, Delphi).

She describes how the concept for her current show, Good, Actually, was born from an attempt to brighten dreary wet island holiday and ended up with a life of its own that is still making her smile every day. She and her partner set themselves a challenge to list their 10 favourite things, with 10 being ‘just good’ to one being seismically brilliant. And that is now the basic concept of the show; every night she works with a new audience to create a new list that is recorded in a Big Book of Tiny Delights.

With a bustling, busy brain like Cosgriff’s, of course it will never end up being that simple, because she has a genuine interest and stacks of background knowledge that will lead to myriad tangents and rabbit holes along the way, all beautifully ad-libbed with a confidence and level of expertise that is quite a delight to watch.

But the answers themselves are also surprisingly delightful, and range from small moments of strange joy (emptying your suitcase after a trip away) to revealing bizarre personality traits shared with bright honesty (removing the protective plastic from a new phone – especially in front of someone who hates doing this). Cosgriff finds wonder in all of them and her enthusiasm is infectious; it’s hard to keep the smile off your face.

And if that all sounds like a bit too much audience participation, don’t worry – you can quietly be entertained by what makes other people happy, and marvelling at the range of Cosgriff’s voice as she puts her many chaotic thoughts to music in her clever, life-affirming, and very funny songs.

Cosgriff performed Good, Actually at last year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, too, when it won both Most Outstanding Show and the Golden Gibbo awards.

For now Cosgriff is playing a mid-sized room and the tickets are reasonably priced but, with talent like this, it’s likely she will soon be selling out far larger venues and such intimate shows will be a thing of the past.

Event details

A Token Event
Good, Actually
Gillian Cosgriff

Venue: Melbourne Town Hall | 100 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC
Dates: 28 March – 21 April 2024
Tickets: $39 – $30
Bookings: 03 9245 3788 | www.comedyfestival.com.au

Part of the 2024 Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Suitable for audiences aged 15+

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