Mary returns for ‘This Is Personal’

CELEBRATED comedian, writer and creator of the iconic 90s character ‘Effie’, Mary Coustas will premiere her most intimate show to date, ‘This Is Personal’, in the Opera House’s Playhouse later this month.
‘This Is Personal’ is a candid one-woman-show that combines the colourful tapestry of Coustas’ migrant upbringing in Melbourne’s suburbs and her recent experience of motherhood.

Mary addresses questions from her inquisitive daughter, her answers forcing her to reflect on what she can offer from her own life experience, and more importantly, what she can’t.
To help, the audience meets the characters from Mary’s family who have shaped her life – including Mary’s younger self who created the suit of armour we’ve come to know as ‘Effie’. Laced with Coustas’ comedic flair, ‘This Is Personal’ is a kaleidoscopic exploration of love, loss, laughter and fear, and the way in which all four come to define us.
“It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes many muses to create a character that has the kind of intergenerational following that Effie has cultivated for over 35 years,” Mary says.
“With much of my work being character based, ‘This is Personal’ gives me the freedom to discuss the themes we all face in this life – race, gender, belonging and freedom of expression.
“Now, I feel I am ready to tackle these issues of the human condition as Mary. To step away from the puppet and expose the puppeteer.”
Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Performance, Ebony Bott, says that as one of our national treasures, many Australians identify with Mary, having grown up with the characters she brought to stage and screen.
“‘In This Is Personal’, we’ll hear more of Mary’s journey, told through her unique brand of comedic storytelling,” she said.
Catch the show from May 25-29, with the May 28 performance at 7.30pm livestreamed via the Opera House’s online streaming platform, Stream.
Tickets from $75 at