Edinburgh, the Fringe, why bother?
Edinburgh Fringe becomes the centre of the universe each August, why wouldn’t you? Besides being the most beautiful city in the world, it’s an ideal platform to share your work and be inspired by your fellow artists. I also fear that, being my fourth year in a row, I am quite possibly addicted.
What have been the nuggets of inspiration behind your show this year?
This year I’m celebrating the songs of Cole Porter following tributes to Annie Lennox and Madonna the last few years. Music is my first love and one man biographical cabarets have become my thing. And these songs are such a joy to sing – Night and Day, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, It’s De-Lovely and the list goes on…
Stand-out Fringe moment to date?
Having over 3000 people sing ‘run run run run’ at Edinburgh Playhouse when I performed Eurythmics ‘Thorn In My Side’ at Forth on the Fringe last year. Meeting my favourite author David Sedaris the year before and getting a signed copy of his latest book was pretty awesome too.
When you wished a hole had opened up in the ground and swallowed you up?
When I arrived in Edinburgh two years ago to do my Madonna tribute and my luggage was delayed in transit. In it were my costume and her Sex coffee-table book which I used for a cheeky show and tell. They arrived two days later on the afternoon of my opening night!
Your unsung heroes in the industry at current?
I’m a little bit obsessed with Sven Ratzke and his pianist Charly Zastrau. I saw them perform at Adelaide Cabaret Festival and they completely blew me away.
Three shows you must see this Fringe?
Lady Rizo. Sven Ratzke. Joe Stilgoe. All singers and all class.
The one person you’d love to see your show and why?
I was too scared to say it out loud but I did secretly hope Annie Lennox might quietly wander in last year to see my show Sweet Dreams. She has been my hero ever since I fell in love with pop music in the 80s. I used to buy Eurythmics on vinyl and I know her hometown isn’t too far away from Edinburgh. The show is a very personal love letter to her and her music, I’d be heartbroken if she didn’t approve so perhaps it’s best she hasn’t seen it!
The reason why one should come and see your show?
For the complete escapism of spending an hour with someone from a time long before Facebook and television and to hear timeless songs that sparkle like champagne.
The one thing in Edinburgh you must do?
It’s such a beautiful town, just wandering around on foot is the perfect way to spend a day. Each year I promise myself I’ll climb Arthur’s Seat on my day off, maybe this year it’ll finally happen.
Ah sorry, you’re dead. But least you can have that dinner party you’ve always wanted. Who are you inviting?
Cole Porter would have to be there, mainly to see if I’ve got his voice right. In my mind he’s a cross between Fred Astaire and Bette Davis with a big silver spoon thrown in for good measure. You know how there’s an accent the filthy rich have that transcends geography? That’s what I’m aiming for in the show.
Michael Griffiths – Cole at the Assembly George Square Gardens Piccolo Tent