Adelaide Cabaret Festival Review: Actually, Good

FIFTY+SA Arts Reviewer, Dave Bradley, shares his thoughts on Gillian Cosgriff's Actually, Good for Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Award-winning comedienne (and theatre actor) Gillian’s hour-long show packs in a lot of material, and features a clever central idea which means that each of her performances is different, always funny, and even a little moving. And yes, it does feel like something of a reaction against the awfulness of those damn Covid lockdowns, and as Gillian is from Melbourne (she admits to it often), that’s hardly surprising.

Taking to the Space Theatre stage with a synthesiser-ish theme, Gillian explained (in a roundabout way) that she has discovered that she’s an optimist, and after a song or two and some amusing unease regarding audience participation, she got down to the business of “The Book Of Good”. This involved having members of the crowd shout out (and at times over each other) ten things they like, which she says is far better and more fascinating than asking people what they do.

This particular show’s punters called out such pearls as seeing dust in a sunbeam in their living room, grabbing the last peach iced tea at the supermarket, and having your cat come when it’s called, and this was eventually set to music by Gillian. And, along the way, there were other stories and observations of her ongoing attempts to keep optimistic, not least a wonderful tale concerning a long and strange phone call with (spoilers!) Steve.

Although sadness is always there (and, even from a distance, you could see her shed a tear at one point), Actually, Good was more than, you know, actually good: it was actually great!

And who knew that optimism was still an option?

Image credit: Claudio Raschella


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