Gillian English – You’re A Good Man Doctor Pirate

By Peter Newling 

Gillian English is a self-described Canadian immigrant living in Tasmania. Her offering for this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival traces her journey from small-town Nova Scotia to the suburbs of Hobart, and the role a clairvoyant-to-the-stars played in the journey.

In a dynamite 55 minutes, English explores the role of fate in our lives – however you choose to hear about it – through clairvoyance, astrology, religion, fairy tales and folklore, or through the predictions of friends and family. She explores the notions of destiny and self-fulfilling prophecy, and how we choose to respond to (or reject) what the universe has in store for us.

Most importantly, this is laugh out loud stuff.

English is first and foremost an amazingly accomplished story teller. She has a breathtaking, rapid fire style that is in equal parts exhilarating and exhausting. If you want to see a display of the mastery of the half beat pause for comic effect, here it is.

It’s a very ‘look at me’ style of comedy (is that the Sagittarius or the Gemini side winning?). It’s brash, confident, high energy and relentless. And the silver sparkly outfit immediately lets you know where your focus needs to be.

The narrative of her verbal tour of her journey to Tasmania, and her search for what’s been promised to her, has been finely crafted and honed. She is able to create amazingly clear mental images of the people who are on the journey with her – including her mum, her friends, her housemates and her partner.

What does the title of the show mean? Well, you’ll just have to go along and find out. It’s a show that deserves a bigger audience than Tuesday night at the Fringe was able to attract!

Gillian English – You’re A Good Man Doctor Pirate is playing Sept 24 – 27 at Coopers Inn t 8:40pm.

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