Adelaide Feast Festival: Sweet Dreams – Songs by Annie Lennox

Michael Griffiths brings his show to Feast after a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe. The show won a 2014 award as best Cabaret in the Adelaide Fringe. Griffiths enters 30 minutes late giving us all a (much too) long wait in the over-crowded venue; but he dives straight into it; introducing himself as Annie Lennox with the first number Missionary Man.

Michael Griffiths. Photo by Kurt Sneddon
Michael Griffiths. Photo by Kurt Sneddon

I saw him do a show In Vogue (A Madonna piece) a few years ago, and he did the same, that is – played it as the character, and so I felt already this one would follow a similar recipe. (Actually, I hoped so – for I loved his Madonna show).

This is definitely not just a cover show. Griffiths blends songs with a biographical story about Annie Lennox; all fascinating stuff whether you’re a fan or not. I’m a huge fan of hers and so is Griffiths.

Lots of the story is based around her up and down relationship with Dave Stewart, and so it should be. It was that relationship which saw The Eurythmics form, her great love come in to being, a big bust up of the love, and the formation of a musical genius pair.

Unforgettable hits: like, Walking On Broken Glass, Why, There Must Be An Angel and Thorn In My Side, (to mention a few), delight us. We love them and know all the words. He spends a fair bit of time coaching the audience as back-up singers for a few bits. It’s fun and we really go along with it.

But what makes this show so much Griffith’s own is his wonderful talent of re-arranging, cutting and pasting, blending and changing her songs to create his own amazing takes on them.

There are not too many musician/singers that have the talent, confidence and know how to retain the utter genius of the original work and artist, yet find a way to create unique versions which spliced with story-telling present the covering artist’s very own flavour.

And it is this element which makes this show brilliant. If Mr Griffiths had played too much with the incredible Lennox numbers and lost the beauty and emotion in her magnificent writing I would not be a happy chappy at all. I’ve been crazy about Annie for as long as I can remember! As it is – I’m as happy as can be. I loved the show. I even had a tear or two in the more emotional songs towards the end.

Stephen House

Stephen is a writer with numerous plays, exhibitions and short films produced. He has been commissioned often and directs and performs his work. He has won two AWGIE Awards from The Australian Writers Guild and an Adelaide Fringe Award (as well as more), and has received several international literature residencies. Stephen has been Artistic Director of many events. He has been performing his acclaimed solo show, “Appalling Behaviour” nationally from 2010 – 2014 (100 shows to date). Stephen has 2 new works in development.

Stephen House

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