Gillian Cosgriff is Whelmed, highly intelligent, very funny, gorgeous looking and musically talented. I should totally hate her for that, and I would, if she wasn’t so positively adorable as well.
She made a huge splash at Fringe World last year and won a bunch of awards before going on to tour her show, This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things. All the music in her cabaret is original and cleverly contextualised by her hilarious stories.
Cosgriff calls herself a “procrastachiever” (someone who finds something distracting to do and then becomes exceptionally good at it) which isn’t a real word, but strangely “whelmed” is. The sneaky little made up word we all use is “underwhelmed”, which she informs us, in maritime terms isn’t actually possible. These are all the terribly fun facts you will discover at Cosgriff’s show.
Gillian Cosgriff actually did a whole song about her latest “procrastachieving” talent, which was to learn the capital city of every country in the world. She even got an audience member up to test her, putting $10 on the line as a bet for them to win if she got one wrong … she didn’t.
Despite the humour, she has a balanced and realistic view on life. I suspect that Cosgriff has used cabaret performance and comedy as a coping strategy for the complexities of mental illness which she openly tells us are present in both herself and her family. The way she talks about depression and anxiety is so easy and normal, that it disempowers the disease and takes away the taboo. I was quietly impressed.
No one is safe from digs and jibes in this cabaret, not even her mum or herself and neither are we, but that’s what made it so funny. When we can laugh at ourselves or someone we know, we appreciate the humour so much more. “It’s funny ‘cos it’s true!” So many of us are spruikers of Facebook quotes or memes to send a global message about how happy and popular we are! After this show though, you may think twice before the next time you use #blessed!
I have no doubt that the success Gillian Cosgriff had last year will find her again and I recommend that you circle her in the program whenever she appears back here in Perth.
The Blue Room Theatre Summer Nights & Gillian Cosgriff in association with PICA present
Gillian Cosgriff is Whelmed
Venue: PICA Performance Space | Perth Cultural Centre, 51 James Street, Northbridge, WA
Dates: February 10 – 21, 2015
Ticket: $18 – $25