Humour with a light touch, sweet piano tunes and upbeat presentation combine in an enjoyable witty show.
Over 10 years of performance, Gillian Cosgriff has been accompanying her impressive vocal talents with jaunty tunes, developing a signature style of light-hearted lyrics embracing intimately personal details.
So Far So Good is a collection of Cosgriff’s favourite songs through her career so far. Given her tendency to write semi-autobiographical compositions, the selection also functions as a shared trip through her life developments. With a wry reference to her current giddy heights of fame and fortune, indicating the FringeWorld tent venue, Cosgriff is consistently self-deprecating but is full of praise and admiration for individual audience members.
Introducing her songwriting habits, she draws many rueful grins as we identify far too closely with her confessions in “The Great Procrastinator”. Proving her inspiration under tight time pressure, she promises to craft a song in an hour, asking questions to create a bespoke song by the end of the show. From sharing her waitressing frustrations from a day job early in her musical journey, Cosgriff becomes unexpectedly sombre about the challenge of turning soul-affirming passions into a money-making career. With her plaintive ballad of a man following his dreams, only to give up to succumb to workaday tedium, she reflects on society’s mundane capitalist reality. Switching to a more hopeful mode with a song of promise “To My 16-Year-Old Self” she makes interested queries about our own hopes and dreams from our teen years.
Interspersed with short, quip-filled speeches, Cosgriff sets contexts for her wide variety of tunes, ranging from light vaudeville key tinkling to sassy pop anthem performed with all the moves (but with modest honesty). She demonstrates her range of compositional and performance skills, as well as her strikingly-controlled, clear tones that enhance her clever lyrics. Acceding to the requisite audience interaction in a Fringe performance, Cosgriff’s gentle and enthusiastic interactions with selected participants keeps the atmosphere genial and relaxed, involving us in her surprisingly successful work created from random and hard-to-rhyme contributions. Closing with an evil grin as she deliberately creates an earworm with “Singing this Song” Cosgriff brings even more laughs in her sly verses while drumming the relentlessly catchy chorus into our brains.
So Far So Good is not a “greatest hits” compilation of Cosgriff’s work as it seems a well-founded hope that she builds on her current talents and proves that her best is yet to come.
Julz Hay presents
So Far So Good
Director Virginia Gay
Venue: Casa Mondo | The Pleasure Garden, Northbridge WA
Dates: 19 – 25 February 2018
Part of FringeWorld 2018