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TimeOut Melbourne review ADOLESCENT

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See article in its original context here by Tim Hunter for TimeOut Melbourne.


Take a trip back to the ’80s with  the forever young Michael Griffiths and a grand piano

Michael Griffiths has performed two shows at fortyfivedownstairs before:Sweet Dream: Songs by Annie Lennoxand In Vogue: Songs by Madonna. Both followed the same format: Griffiths sitting at a grand piano telling their stories in between masterfully performed renditions of their music.

His new show, Adolescent, follows that same formula, but this time Griffiths is telling his own story and it’s how, at 40, he’s still a teenager at heart.

It’s a wonderfully nostalgic show, as we trek back with him to the 1980s as he shares with us his love of New Wave pop music. The memories he evokes with renditions of songs by Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, Culture Club, Howard Jones (for younger folk, just Google him) and A-ha elicit immediate smiles and his dry commentary provokes hearty laughs.

Griffiths’ stories include how and met Darryl, his partner of over 20 years, how Darryl is in charge of the grown-up stuff, as well as tales from his time performing in Priscilla: The Musical and Jersey Boys. His manner is relaxed, self-deprecating and entirely engaging. In many ways, it’s like a conversation between him and the audience that keeps changing direction, sometimes without tidy endings. The fact that a few of his old colleagues were in the audience added a lovely spontaneous feel to the show.

It’s not all froth and bubbles: the revelation of his sperm-donor origins and the effect that had on him explores a darker side, which makes Griffiths all the more real.

Griffiths is a polished performer, a skilful raconteur and an impressive singer and musician. Catch this show before it finishes.



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