2013 Melbourne Fringe Festival—
Gillian Cosgriff in This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Posted on 04 October 2013

I find it is always worth scanning the cabaret and theatre sections of the Melbourne Fringe guide. Frequently comic gems are tucked away in those corners. When Sammy J creates a show, it finds its way into comedy. When Cosgriff wrote this show, she placed it in cabaret. Probably a wise move to attract fans of cabaret, though she performs essentially standup comedy between her songs.

This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things is about how an impulsive lifestyle leads to comic disaster: buy Caribbean Orange lipstick, toss it in your handbag and it falls open, coating the contents of the bag; start dating a guy, get drunk one night and booty call him, then have to start all over finding a date. This is probably the swan song of a post “greed is good” generation raised on aggressive marketing.

Cosgriff has a delightfully cheeky delivery for her anecdotes and songs. She does an excellent job of tapping into our common experience and finding the absurdity of the everyday. She has a relaxed polished style which should serve her well in any media she ultimately finds herself. Her musical skills are impressive; they go well beyond plinking out a ditty. I loved the fact that she didn’t hold back with the complexity of her styling.

Watching Gillian Cosgriff, what kept floating through my mind was that Australia is behind both the US and the UK in having females front their own talk shows. I love Adam Hills and Sammy J, and I love their shows. Where is Australia’s Oprah Winfrey or Ellen DeGeneres? I suppose I sensed that Cosgriff’s smooth delivery would work well on television.

For a sophisticated evening of pleasant sounds and pleasant company, This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things is the place to be.

Melbourne Fringe website: This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Peace and kindness,


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