14
Feb
12

Gillian Cosgriff: Waitressing and other Things I Do Well

Gillian Cosgriff: Waitressing and Other Things I Do Well

Brisbane Powerhouse 

08.02.12 – 12.02.12

I love this show. I saw it as part of a double bill during the cabaret festival at QPAC in 2011. It’s quirky, funny, delightful stuff for a different sort of cabaret crowd; one that has seen the likes of Gillian Cosgriff in the very best venues all over the world and won’t be surprised to see her in the future, play any one of them. That’s not to say that Cosgriff doesn’t appeal to a broader market but there’s something different happening here and she is, as I’ve said before, one to watch.

Ms Cosgriff is part of a new wave of cabaret artists in Australia. She is intelligent, comedic and sophisticated. Her talents are far-reaching and she remains unassuming. Not only is she a gifted composer, lyricist, pianist and vocalist but also, in addition to this pretty package, Cosgriff is a comedienne and a natural born entertainer. Cosgriff and her peers – Mrs Bang AKA Sheridan Harbridge for instance – have a quality that can’t be taught. It’s a sassy confidence, perfectly paired with a humble acceptance that, in this context at least, she is just doing her job. Well, one of them. If only she could be a full time artist!

Gorgeous to watch, Cosgriff sparkles with a cheeky, natural confidence on stage that belies her age. Her hilarious stories, told through witty songs and snappy patter, have in them something for everyone. We can all relate to ridiculous customers, the lack-of-intellect-and-unwillingness-to-commit-eventually-outweighs-the-physique ex-boyfriends, having to make small talk with boring strangers at great parties and having to study aero dynamical engineering (and perhaps the Kama Sutra) in order to put together a flat pack from IKEA. That’s right. You see if you ask Cosgriff (or her aunt), nothing could be sexier. The balance of the show is in the pathos and self-reflection. Cosgriff gives us not only a great deal to laugh about but also, a good deal to think about. I’ve noted before that the builder who represents an actor could be any one of us. His story kills me.

This is a fast-paced TV/Gamer generation’s approach to cabaret, with the jokes coming thick and fast and the audience’s short attention span well catered for. And as rapid-fire as the delivery is, nothing is lost. Cosgriff even explains a couple of clever quips, eliciting further giggles (and some snorts) from those who got the A Minor gag the first time, within the song.

Cosgriff’s cabaret is a sort of Sondheim-Streisand inspired mini Minchin act. It’s fun, it’s clever, and it’s surprisingly moving. Cosgriff seems just as likely to make your next half-strength soy latte as to grace glitzy rooms such as the Rrazz. The next time you see she’s headed your way, book those tickets. You don’t want to miss this cabaret babe.

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