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Review: Michael Griffiths: By Request at the Edith Spiegeltent

Review By: Tatum Stafford

As we lined up for the 6:40pm performance of ‘Michael Griffiths: By Request’ last night, it was clear we were in for an entertaining time. There were droves of people buzzing with anticipation; many with murmurs of “I hope he sings that one!” or “I hope my request gets chosen!”.

The nature of this show is simple. Michael, an experienced and renowned cabaret performer hailing from Adelaide and having trained at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts here in Perth, performs a short set of his favourite songs before opening it up to some of the audience’s requests, submitted through his social media accounts weeks, days or hours before.

Michael tackles his opening set, featuring hits such as ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’ by ABBA, ‘Your Song’ by Elton John and ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ by Queen, with aplomb, and has the audience eating out of his hands by the time the request portion of the show kicks off. And boy, were there some entertaining requests in this performance’s set list.

Michael kicked off with audience member Bec’s request of ‘Like a Prayer’ by Madonna. Next came a medley Michael himself called “questionable”, featuring rock and roll hits such as ‘Smoke on the Water’ by Deep Purple and ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ by Guns & Roses. This was a humorous inclusion from the admittedly camp Michael, who rolled up his sleeves and said with a grin: “Well, it’s rock and roll time, babe.”

Once the show wound down, people were clearly not ready for the night to end, leaping to their feet to dance to John Paul Young’s hit ‘Love Is In The Air.' There's no question as to why this show is a sell-out (and then some, with some audience members wedging into booths at the Spiegeltent’s corners). Michael’s effervescent personality, charming showmanship and flawless voice make for a performance that transcend the ticket price and audience expectation at the same time.

Ably accompanied by an excellent drummer and bass player, Michael Griffiths is a Fringe regular and a must-see on anyone’s Fringe calendar. The diversity of songs he plays with flair are reason enough to get your hands on a ticket – you never know which of your favourite songs will weave their way into his set. And if you don’t hear yours, jump on Facebook and make sure he plays at for the next performance. It’s that easy!

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.

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