It’s a Sin - Songs of Love and Shame

It’s a Sin - Songs of Love and Shame
Michael Griffiths. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. The Space Theatre – Adelaide Festival Centre. June 10, 2023

Michael Griffiths is the quintessential cabaret performer! Born and raised in Adelaide, it is only fitting he return here to premiere his new show It’s a Sin.

Griffiths takes us on his journey of his development as a queer performer (he prefers queer to gay), punctuated with the songs of the Pet Shop Boys. He is joined on stage by Julian Ferraretto on violin and Dylan Paul on double bass. Ferraretto and Paul are not simply accompaniment, they form an integral part of the performance. Their playing is sympathetic and adds another level to the production.

It's a Sin was developed by Griffiths and Helpmann Award winning director Dean Bryant from a concept, to the original script and now the finished product. Griffiths takes us through his journey of being different, discovery, music and love. All packed into just over an hour!

We share his childhood, being bullied at school, the discovery of music, his first kiss at the Adelaide Royal Show, his involvement with theatre and most importantly growing up gay and his 31year relationship with his partner Daryl.

Pet Shop Boys’ fans are not disappointed. There are many of the group’s hits including -  ‘Love Comes Quickly’ , ‘Suburbia’, ‘It’s a Sin’, ‘Go West’, ‘You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk’ and ‘Rent’ all rendered with Griffith’s inimitable style.

Every audience member will have their own particular highlight. I had many, but the one that stayed with me long after the performance ended was Michael’s frank discussion about AIDS and his long wait to receive negative results.

The encore brought an unexpected highlight. Griffiths invited his partner Daryl to join him onstage at the piano. ‘Rent’ was an excellent choice and reflected their relationship. As I looked around the Space Theatre, I could see many of the audience wiping tears from their eyes.

On a personal note, it has been a pleasure as a reviewer to watch Michael’s development as a cabaret performer. He has the ability to engage the audience within the first few minutes of the show. We, as the audience feel he is in our lounge rooms and performing just for us. His shtick is enlightening, witty, titillating and always entertaining!

It’s a Sin: Songs of love and shame is a compelling hour shared by an equally compelling masterful cabaret performer, Michael Griffiths.

Barry Hill OAM

Photographer: Claudio Raschella

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