Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director & produced playwright (20 plays). Scripts published by Currency Press. She worked as an actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate is currently Convenor of Professional Writing & Editing, Swinburne University. Read her reviews here or at: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Monday, 30 March 2015
Gillian Cosgriff in Whelmed, 29 March 2015 ***
Trades Hall, Music Room, until 19 April 2015 Melbourne Comedy Festival
Reviewer: Kate Herbert Full review also published in Herald Sun on 30 March 2015. KH
Gillian Cosgriff's musical comedy talents are manifold and her
original songs are the highlight of her show, Whelmed.
Seated at her Roland keyboard, she opens with her song, This Bit Is Not
In The Show, a cunning little jazz tune with clever lyrics that provide
warnings about potentially offensive material (there isn't really any), exit
doors and the merciful lack of strobe effects or smoke machines.
Between her cleverly composed songs, Cosgriff, who is in her 20s,
delivers standard stand-up material in her particular, nervy, rapid-fire style
She prattles about begin borderline Obsessive Compulsive, an
over-achiever and procrastinator (Her hybrid word being procrast-achiever), a
combination that makes it almost impossible for her to sit down and write a
song because it needs to be perfect!
admits that she fritters her time away on Facebook, justifying the time-wasting
by asking Facebook friends to make suggestions about their irrational fears so
she can use them in her songs.
also Googles random topics and this habit provides material for her witty
song, Inspiration, that criticises privileged people and their
obsession with Twitter hash tags and snappy epithets about positive thinking,
such as Thinspiration or Fitspiration.
tune about health fads provides plenty of mad facts about things that are
purported to be good for us, such as juice fasts and old-fashioned medicines
that included heroin and cocaine.
by one of the 300 electronic sounds on her keyboard – it's called In The Groove
– she correctly answers a pop quiz about capital cities of obscure
nations. She gets all 10 right!
song about Things That Are Bad For You slaps all those internet sites on
which charlatans shout about what's bad for us, and her tune about
people giving awful gifts highlights her story about The Ugliest Bag in The
World that her mother made for her.
she says, is an old sailors' term that describes water swelling almost to the
gunwales (top) of a ship but not pouring into the boat. Cosgriff uses this as a
metaphor for just coping with life but not being overwhelmed.
is at her best when she is performing her intelligently written songs and I did
go home singing her final tune, You'll Be Singing This Song When You Leave The
Show. I can't get it out of my head!