Actually, Good - MICF 2023 (VIC)
The Butterfly Club presents a Gillian Cosgriff production
Reviewed by Justin Clarke
Butterfly Club, Melbourne
Until 23rd April, 2023
- Drop everything and run to beg, buy, steal a ticket for Gillian Cosgriff's return to the musical comedy world -
Last year, during an interview with Yve Blake (of Fangirls fame) I asked her what artists we should keep an eye on in the theatre world. One of the first names out of her mouth was Gillian Cosgriff. Now I have to admit, until that point I didn’t actually know who Cosgriff was and it wasn’t until seeing her perform in the Hayes Theatre’s production of Godspell that I came to realise exactly what Blake was talking about. Gillian Cosgriff is a musical comedy powerhouse.
Actually, Good - yes there is a comma in there and it must be spoken - is based on a game that Cosgriff and her partner made during lockdown. The game consists of listing your ten likes, with number one as something you most love in the world - something that you consider to be the very best of the human experience. Cosgriff takes this idea and runs with it to create a show that is hilarious, heartwarming and surprisingly emotional as she asks for the audience's ten likes that she writes down into a book each evening. Other likes have included: when you manage to get your friend's dog to like you more than them, seeing a cow and yelling, “Cow!” and when tram drivers wave to each other.
It’s a beautifully put together and inherently simple premise that makes this show feel more like a comfortable chat with your best friend, spattered with jokes and musical numbers along the way. Throughout, Cosgriff shares her ten likes as we the audience offer our own. Tonight's likes included when a dog walks past you and licks your hand, seeing old men in three-piece suits shopping, having a successful group trip to Woolies, when your parents say, “sorry”, and the first hour spent with your newborn baby.
Throughout, Cosgriff proves her musical prowess as she uses a mixer to underscore her own stories utilising her own vocals and piano playing - Ed Sheeran, watch your back! Cosgriff’s voice is melodic and powerful as she riffs and covers a whole range of musical stylings. There’s some smooth jazz, musical belts and vocal runs that impress and delight.
Cosgriff has a quality about her that is entirely welcoming and safe. Each time she returns to her book of likes to ask for the next number from the audience, it gives you that feeling of a safe space to truly share what you’re feeling at that exact moment in time. Between each of our likes, she shares her own, spattering stories of her career throughout and her friendship with a performer called Dave, who is more essential to the show than first realised. We get to hear wonders and hardships from a little indie production called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and an utterly confusing phone call to a performers wellbeing hotline that imbues the show with hilarity.
The latest shows for Actually, Good have been selling out, and for good reason. I can only thank our lucky stars that she has returned to the festival scene, and Yve Blake was entirely correct, Gillian Cosgriff is a performer to glue your eyes onto. Be prepared for what she has yet to offer!
In short, I cannot find the words to say this other than, you have to see this show.
All Tix $37.00
All Tix $33.00
All Tix $30.00
All Tix $28.00
Thu 13 Apr - Tue 18 Apr: 8.30pm;
Thu 20 Apr - Sun 23 Apr: 8.30pm;
Tue 28 Mar: 8.30pm
The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Pl, Melbourne