Gillian Cosgriff comes with a raft of favourable reviews, and you can see why. She has an attractive, relaxed presence, good voice and piano skills, and some witty original songs. All this makes it well worth spending an hour with her, and the crowd at the Butterfly Club duly appreciated the experience. Her material is her day job as a waitress (her opening, and perhaps best piece), sardonic reflections on her up and down love life (“I Love You”), wry asides on the uncertain life of a performer (“The Builder”), and some slightly in-jokey notes on formulaic aspects of show business (“The Song Song”).
It is perhaps a little surprising to hear (from one so young) an air of fatigue and cynicism about her chosen career; and you couldn’t say, in fact, that any of her songs is really joyful or life-affirming, but they are undeniably witty and well-performed. Maybe some less self-referential material, something about other people, might be worth exploring...
Meanwhile hear and enjoy her work, not necessarily at the Butterfly Club, whose new seats are narrow, hard and crammed together, and the drink prices astronomical.
2011 Melbourne Cabaret Festival
Waitressing, and Other things I Do Well
Venue: The Butterfly Club, 204 Bank Street, South Melbourne
Dates/Times: 7.00pm, 22 – 24 July, 2011
Tickets: $33 / $30