Left – Michael Griffiths. Photo – Kurt Sneddon
Michael Griffiths held the rapt attention of the full house with another excellent female diva recreation. Last year it was Madonna. This Cabaret season it was the love and heartbreak that inspired Annie Lennox.
Griffiths employs no costume or props, but with a fluent, informative script by Dean Bryant, we move through a goodly chunk of Lennox’s adult life, from London classical training (the flute) to the phenomenal worldwide success of the Eurhythmics. As expected, a large part of the dialogue and songs centre on her good and bad times with music and sometime life partner Dave Stewart.
Griffiths is an engaging stage presence. His voice is very good, his phrasing superb and his work on piano accompaniment impeccable. A surprise bonus is his excellent line in self-deprecating humour. This was best displayed as he wooed the audience into an hilariously silly sing along. Remarkably accomplished.
Highlights included a brilliant blending of Silent Night with When Tomorrow Comes and Right by Your Side to celebrate the first Christmas introduction of Stewart to her parents. Her father’s Scottish, pithy advice is amusingly peppered throughout the script.
Cleverly softening the relentless rock rhythms of Here Comes the Rain with the moody evocative Lost turns it into a soulful poetic ballad.
My only criticism is for the sound desk. Granted, visiting artist and engineer have less than twenty four hours to get acquainted, but the volume was one notch too high, somehow making the piano slightly too sharp with an overdone reverb factor on some numbers.
This show won the Best Cabaret Adelaide Fringe 2014 Award. It’s not hard to see why.
The roll call of Lennox hits was hugely enjoyable. The crowd gave the WAPPA graduate a warm welcome home. All the shows are sold out
Cabaret Soiree 2014
SWEET DREAMS: SONGS BY ANNIE LENNOX
devised by Dean Bryant
Director Dean Bryant
Venue: DownStairs at the Maj, 825 Hay St, Perth
Dates: 2 – 4 Oct, 2014
Bookings: 1300 795 012 | ticketek.com.au