Just Desserts

Just Desserts
By Michelle Pearson. Adelaide Fringe. East Market Pavilion, Gluttony, Adelaide. 6-14 March 2020

Michelle Pearson stirs, folds and beats a recipe of politics, philosophy and personal stories into a perfect late-night treat for all the senses. Revisiting her cabaret show introduced to the Fringe in 2019, Pearson mixes up well known songs with her own take on the lyrics, this time around updating her storytelling to reflect the changes in her life over the last twelve months.

Starting the show wearing a cupcake-holder skirt almost too big for the aisle, Pearson then launches into Shania Twain, for those who deserve their ‘just desserts’. The excellent band switch effortlessly between Britney Spears and Hawaiian surf music, from Queen to the Foo Fighters and this four-piece provides fantastic, toe-tapping support to Pearson’s soulful voice.

But it’s her real-life stories that cement the impressive cabaret persona: even with a full audience, there is an intimacy in how she tells us about the changes in her life. We chuckle at her mishaps, smile in recognition at her doubts and cheer her on with her persistence and optimism.

Her words and songs consider more than sex and chocolate, unafraid to discuss body image, social pressure and a life changed by motherhood. The subtle changes to the words of John Newman’s “Love Me Again” are heart-breaking, yet beautifully sung.

The sights and sounds of the show are remarkably good, even more so for this unusual venue in Gluttony; and the tastebuds are more than satisfied with her triple desserts, inspired by her stories. We might be filling up on sugar, but we’re not ready for the show to end when it does: it’s a great performance by an accomplished Adelaide artist.

Mark Wickett

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