Back on the Fringe

Michael Grif­fiths re­turns to FringeWorld.

Fremantle Gazette - - NEWS - Tanya MacNaughton

WAAPA grad­u­ate Michael Grif­fiths re­turns for his sixth Fringe World show this year with his shame­lessly nos­tal­gic love fest for Kylie Minogue.

Michael Grif­fiths: Songs by Kylie has been on the cabaret per­former’s wish list for years but it took un­til an Ade­laide Cabaret Fes­ti­val com­mis­sion in 2017 for it to be added to his grow­ing cat­a­logue of shows in­spired by Madonna, An­nie Len­nox, Cole Porter (which won him a Help­mann Award), Pe­ter Allen and him­self.

“The early idea was a dark, sub­ver­sive show about Kylie as a song­writer, which wouldn’t have been even half as fun as what we ended up do­ing, which is a to­tal camp cel­e­bra­tion of Kylie from Neigh­bours,” Grif­fiths said.

“I do favour the early songs but I’m 44 and you’re only an ado­les­cent, teenager or in your 20s once and Kylie was a big part of that for me. I don’t sing any­thing from the last 10 years re­ally be­cause for the last 10 years I’ve been busy be­ing an adult.

“I know my show is light-hearted but there is a sin­cere rev­er­ence for her.”

The hour-long per­for­mance in­cludes sto­ries and 21 songs (not all in their en­tirety) rang­ing from Minogue’s Stock, Aitken and Water­man days with I Should Be So Lucky, Es­pe­cially for You and Bet­ter the Devil You Know to Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Danc­ing Queen (2000 Syd­ney Olympic Games clos­ing cer­e­mony) and Slow.

There is also a smat­ter­ing of au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion be­cause “that’s when cabaret re­ally be­comes cabaret, when you go off­page, the re­hearsal goes out the win­dow and you play with what you’ve got”.

Grif­fiths, who has per­formed in mu­si­cals in­clud­ing Jer­sey Boys and Priscilla Queen of the Desert, said he had found his free­dom in cabaret and sat­is­fac­tion in be­ing his own boss.

“Maybe that’s Kylie rub­bing off on me,” he said.

“I’m not wait­ing for my agent to call me and I don’t au­di­tion any­more be­cause it’s so hor­ri­ble.

“I did work a lot in mu­si­cal theatre but in hind­sight I never felt le­git­i­mate and ev­ery show I was in I was se­cretly ter­ri­fied it would be my last and I would never get an­other job.

“I get to take own­er­ship of these shows, which I couldn’t do in mu­si­cal theatre be­cause I felt a lit­tle bit like an im­poster.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d487665

Michael Grif­fiths pre­sents Songs by Kylie, a trib­ute to Aus­tralian pop princess Kylie Minogue.

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