Effie’s im­mac­u­late con­cep­tion

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE COUCH - ANNA BRAIN TV WRITER

“Al­most like a mar­riage in which we’re sleep­ing in sep­a­rate beds”

MARY COUS­TAS ON EFFIE

If Aus­tralian com­edy has grown up, it’s only fit­ting that one of its most bois­ter­ous voices, Effie, has grown up too.

A new doc­u­men­tary se­ries,

Stop Laugh­ing … This is Se­ri­ous, talks to more than an 60 of our finest co­me­di­ans, di­ans, in­clud­ing John Clarke, Barry Humphries,es, Jane Turner and Mag­dada Szuban­ski, aboutt what makes us such us such a funny na­tion.

Mary Cous­tas s has been play­ing “Greek god­dess” Effie since the late ’80s, a time she de­scribes as a golden age.

“Ev­ery net­work had a great com­edy show on it, and some had two or three,” she says.

“The ABC had The DGen­er­a­tion and also the Doug An­thony All Stars. Chan­nel 10 had The Com­edy Com­pany and Chan­nel 7 had Fast For­ward. You felt like part of a huge move­ment, we felt like part of a big ex­tended fam­ily.

“The hip­pie in me just loves a frig­gin’ en­sem­ble.”

If co­me­di­ans were her fam­ily, then Effie was, and still is, Cous­tas’s other half, al­beit with big­ger hair and gaudy taste.

“She’s a huge part of my life, al­most like a mar­riage in which we’re sleep­ing in sep­a­rate beds,” Cous­tas says. “It’s a code­pen­dent sit­u­a­tion, one that nei­ther of us like to ad­mit to.”

Cous­tas be­came a mother last year at 49, af­ter a decade of un­suc­cess­ful IVF treat­ments. Now, baby Jamie has quickly be­came part of the fam­ily busi­ness.

“You’ve got to un­der­stand that for 10 years, my work life was ham­strung by a greater dream, a greater chal­lenge,” she says. “The minute my daugh­ter was born, and I knew ev­ery­thing was fine, I re­mem­ber think­ing, ‘It’s so good, I can go back to work and re­sume that part of me that had been lay­ing dor­mant for a very long time.’

“Effie is a vir­gin, so she had to have an im­mac­u­late con­cep­tion. I milked it as much as I could, com­i­cally. And now Effie has had a child, Aphrodite (Affie and Effie). I put a baby bouff-head wig on Jamie, with a se­quined one­sie.

“Even though I do com­edy, I trained as an ac­tor and did theatre, so I was al­ways in en­sem­ble shows.

Now I see my­self as more of a co­me­dian be­cause I’ve been do­ing a stage show as Effie, no set, talk­ing di­rectly to the au­di­ence.

“I un­der­stand what the drug is now.” STOP LAUGH­ING ... THIS IS SE­RI­OUS, ABC, WED­NES­DAY, 9PM

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.