Saturday 6 April 2024

Actually, Good review (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)

Having missed Gillian Cosgriff’s award-winning show Actually, Good at last year's Comedy Festival, it was with anticipated relief to learn that she was bringing it back to Melbourne this year. This is a wonderful hour of storytelling, original songs, stand-up, and most importantly, it’s a show that leaves you with a big smile on your face and a warmth in your soul.

Cosgriff takes us back to a time when she was having a terrible holiday in the Whitsundays when she spontaneously asked her partner about the ten things he likes. It set the blueprint for this show and for a unique conversation on things we enjoy and we they enjoy it and how it makes us feel. As Cosgriff tells us, it’s better to ask what do you like rather than what do you do. In Actually, Good, the audience helps Cosgriff compile a list of our ten likes – completely voluntary – but once the first one is shouted out, people become eager to share theirs. It’s a wonderful community that Cosgriff fosters within this framework.

Her songs are lyrically fun and relatable as Cosgriff sings on topics such as the chaos draw that everyone has at home and cracking jokes at a eulogy. Between songs, Cosgriff also lets us know her own likes of previous likes from other audiences and weaves in personal anecdotes from her life, such as a card she received on closing night of a production from another cast member. All these threads are touchingly brought together in a very affective finale.

As a collective, Cosgriff receives ten likes from the audience, but I can pretty much guarantee that every person in the room was mentally preparing their top ten, and like happened to me, it led to reliving lovely memories from my life. When my plus one and I were leaving, we shared our top tens with each other, and it brought up interesting conversation starters and made us more connected and closer. It’s rare that a show can be highly entertaining, bond you with friends – and strangers – and have you feeling really good about yourself. Cosgriff might not have sung about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens but Actually, Good may actually make her the Maria of this festival.


Venue: Melbourne Town Hall, 100 Swanston St, Melbourne
 16 - 21 April | Tues - Sat 9:15pm, Sun 8:15pm
 60 minutes
 $34 - $39 Full | $30 Conc and Tightarse Tuesday
 Melbourne International Comedy Festival

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