Interview with Michael Griffiths

Voice talks to Michael Griffiths about his new show, his inspirations and what's changed in the industry

Interview with Michael Griffiths

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
I’m Michael Griffiths, an Australian cabaret performer coming back to Edinburgh for my sixth year in a row.

Tell us about your show?
It’s a nostalgic tribute to Aussie pop princess Kylie Minogue. I explore her back catalogue and cast new light on her life story, have some laughs along the way and revisit some of the best pop songs from the last 30 years.

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and is it different from other festivals?
Edinburgh is a unique platform to showcase your work internationally. It has introduced me to my cabaret peers from all over the place and they have helped inform my own work. There is a special energy at Edinburgh, the size alone is unmatched anywhere else and conventional ‘theatre going’ rules don't apply - you can have your mind blown at 11am on a Monday morning.

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?
I was motivated by a love of music and the thrill of live performance. I remember seeing ‘West Side Story’ as a teenager and thinking ‘that’s what I want to do for a living, sing and dance on stage’. Dancing never quite worked out for me but I’ve never stopped singing. All of my tribute cabaret shows come from a genuine love for my pop idols including Madonna, Annie Lennox and of course, Kylie.

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?
I think particularly in cabaret, you need to be aware of what is going on in the world around you. Awareness of time and place is important too and I gently update my work to include contemporary references where appropriate. My work isn't political but plays with gender and sexuality. Cabaret is the perfect environment to express uniqueness positively, ’normal’ is boring.

Equally, do you feel there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?
Gender and equality are very much in public consciousness of late and I’m happy to be part of this discussion. I play ‘female’ in much of my work and do this without any sense of being emasculated or diminished. This year in Edinburgh, as ‘Kylie’, I’ll be the most powerful person in the room.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?
On the move.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?
Be firm about your goals, whether it being ‘breaking in’ a show, building an audience, making industry connections… if your goal is merely to make money, have a rethink.

And what advice do you wish you’d been given when entering the industry?
Success isn't what you think it is and it certainly isn't a destination. Be prepared for good luck.

When and where can people see your show?
1st to the 26th of August in Bubble, Assembly George Square.

And where can people find, follow and like you online?
I’m on all the socials, searching my name should bring me up. Otherwise find me on my website www.michaelgriffiths.co

Author

Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is a Politics graduate, and holds a Masters in Journalism. He serves as Editor for Voice, and has an almost unhealthy obsession with Batman. His hobbies include gaming and reading graphic novels - his current go to series is Bill Willingham's Fables.

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