Catch her before she wows Edinburgh…
By Joana Simmons
Award-winning musical comedian (Winner Best Cabaret Melbourne Fringe 2013, Winner Green Room Awards Original Songs 2013) Gillian Cosgriff is a musical and vocal powerhouse with comedic charisma and charm to boot. In her show, This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, we hear her personal stories of how she is good at making to-do lists but better at procrastinating, good at being a mate but awesome at calling them after a wine or nine, and many other rollicking relatable truths.
“This is why we can’t have nice things” is an adage recited by mothers across the globe to children who have damaged said nice thing. After an energetic opening number, Cosgriff explains how this is the title of her show because it is something she frequently finds she is telling herself: for when she buys an expensive lipstick and it spills in her bag, or meets a nice guy and calls him at 3am to ‘hang out.’ Through her dulcet tones and clever lyrics, she delights the audience with all kinds of anecdotes that prove why this saying applies to her.
Cosgriff is clearly a seasoned performer. She is relaxed and enjoying herself and the audience is completely on board. It’s hard not to be, since her musical ability hits all the right notes and vocal riffs have the audience whooping and applauding after every number and one liner. The humour hits home as equally as the heart. Gosgriff’s honesty and open self-reflection is touching, and her song to her 16 year-old self is beautiful.
Structurally, Cosgriff’s command of the stage with her storytelling and variety of musical numbers works. One part with voice-overs went a bit long, but other than that, the intimate journey that is this show is the perfect amount of theatrical and accessible. The lighting is simple and subtle, except for one stage where they started flashing which was unsettling but that could have been the intention.
There’s four performances left of this show before Gillian Cosgriff takes off to debut it at Edinburgh Fringe. Go and see it, because she is going to hit that festival out of the park. Go and see it because it is humour with heart and hashtag nostalgia. Go and see it because, whilst Cosgriff thinks she can’t have nice things, she definitely deserves all the great things that her incredible talent will bring.
Gillian Cosgriff: This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Venue: The Butterfly Club
Dates: July 5-10