Interview with Gillian Cosgriff

Gillian Cosgriff takes some time to talk to Voice about the show, inspirations, and to give advice to young people.

Interview with Gillian Cosgriff

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hi there! I'm a musical comedian from Melbourne, Australia.

How would you describe your show?

It's a show about my fear of space and my fear of marriage. Also of moths. Moths are terrifying. What are they even made of? DUST?

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

It's the biggest Fringe in the world. I love knowing that the whole city is filled with artists and audiences from all over the place. Also, the crepes are very good.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

The scale is HUGE in comparison to other fringes. Also, better crepes.

Do you think the Fringe has changed over the years? If so, how? Are these changes positive or negative?

This is only my second Edinburgh Fringe, but I think any festival changes and shifts over the years – especially one that's open access.

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

I was a bossy child who liked attention – so really I think my parents are to blame for encouraging this behaviour. I always wanted to be in musicals but after studying music theatre I was more interested in the cabaret/comedy side of performing. I'm inspired by people like Tim Minchin, Eddie Perfect, Kate Miller-Heidke, and Meow Meow.

If you didn't have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

Eating cereal and watching RuPaul's Drag Race. Oh wait. What other job would I be doing? Um…is there a position available to eat cereal and watch TV? I'm VERY qualified.

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Please see above.

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

At primary school we did Joseph And The Technicolour Dreamcoat. I played the role of Green. My performance was integral to the coat's colour scheme.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

Mostly I talk about things that I find interesting and hope that the audience does too. I do feel pressure to keep material relevant to what's going on in the world, but I try and keep things universal enough that they don't need constant updating. I'm much too lazy for that.

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

I feel that the world is in a weird state of flux right now. In my show I talk a lot about things that I'm afraid of and things that I don't fully understand, because I think there's a lot of humour in that. More than ever I feel like making comedy about things that terrify you is a good way to take back some power.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

What? No! Really? Oh dear.

Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both?

The benefits of the free fringe are that you don't usually pay venue hire or ticketing fees and you can pass the bucket around at the end. Generally free fringe venues are quite basic – usually a stage and a microphone (although some venues are a little fancier). If you're good at your end of show spiel you might make a decent amount of cash with a free show. The benefits of a ticketed event are that your venue hire fees generally cover some lighting/sound/tech/front of house staff that you might not have with a free show, and you're making money from a set ticket price. There's pros and cons to both, just depends what kind of show you're doing.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

Know what you want to get out of it. Do you want to make money? Do you want to showcase yourself to producers/agents from the UK and internationally? Do you want to bring your show to a new audience? Also, eat some vegetables. You are not invincible.

When and where can people see your show?

In The Turret at Gilded Balloon. 9pm, August 2-27 (not 15).

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

Gillian Cosgriff: To the Moon and Back is performing at The Gilded Balloon at 21:00 on 2nd – 27th (not 15). For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe..

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