ichael Griffiths held the audience in the palm of his hand from the very start of the show to the finale, which ran over time because the audience simply refused to let him go. Was he having a good time? You’d better believe it!
It showed, not only in the enthusiastic audience responses and singalongs, but in the broad smiles of his backing duo. Joe Southwall on bass guitar and Greg Benton on drums were excellent and totally attuned to Griffith’s improvised chat and dance moves as well as his list of requested songs. Requested, allegedly, by fans he met at a Festival launch function. That none of these people were in the audience bothered him not a jot. “Probably in tomorrow night’s show.”
The tone of the evening was funny, light and fairly “camp”, which Griffiths clearly acknowledges in some of his amusing anecdotes.
Opening the show Griffiths had cleverly timed numbers accompanied by a jingle bell stick in one hand and the other on the keys of the piano.
Numbers included and given the Griffiths trademark re-imagining and playful rhythms, were Jingle Bells, I’ve Got You under My Skin and a Fleetwood Mack classic. However such tomfoolery cannot disguise the fact that he is possessed of a great voice and virtuoso piano skills. His superb solo rendition of Tenterfield Saddler was moving.
There was a clever medley of Christmas songs including Do They Know It’s Christmas, Felice Novida and a huge audience chorus response to Feed the World.
After a request for Griffiths to sing in French an exotically clad lady eagerly joined him onstage to sing the Piaf classic La Vie en Rose; lyrics read from his mobile phone!
Declaring himself to be a child of the 80’s allowed Griffiths to name drop artists, bands and songs by artists such as Sting, Wham, Culture Club, Madonna and Boney M.
A rousing version of Tainted Love finished the show in style but Griffiths was enjoying himself so much that he indulged the crowd with a gorgeous rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Downstairs at the Maj
By Request Christmas Special
by Michael Griffiths
Venue: His Majesty's Theatre | Downstairs at the Maj, Perth WA
Dates: 9 – 11 December 2021