Adelaide Cabaret Festival Review: Reform

As part of Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Reform is a cautionary tale of befriending her online scammer by actor, singer, writer and comedian Michelle Brasier.

WORDS: Dave Bradley, Arts Reviewer

Michelle Brasier’s brainchild is an hour-long, almost-completely-factual (but not quite!), semi-musical comedy piece that’s sometimes very funny – and occasionally surprisingly disturbing.

Beginning a little abruptly, Brasier (familiar from Shaun Micallef’s Mad As Hell and Aunty Donna’s exploits) nevertheless quickly won the audience over with a cool comparison between chimps and Kardashians, and then the show proper commenced. Flashing us all back to those dark days of 2020, she recounted her experiences in a harshly-locked-down Melbourne where, in order to purchase a Pilates reformer (ie. weird gym equipment) online for $500, she unwittingly set into motion an epic tale of being scammed by the Adelaide-residing ‘Jacob’.

With drums and keyboards from Jordan White and guitar accompaniment from Tim Lancaster, Michelle constructed the performance as a series of Facebook communications between her and ‘Jacob’, with Tim voicing the (supposedly) hapless guy as he first (supposedly) tried to get the reformer to her, and then (supposedly) attempted to send her a refund. This made for sometimes hilarious moments, with Michelle speaking incredibly fast due to, she explained, imbibing a few of her beloved espresso martinis beforehand, but when she ripped into her musical numbers, she kept on bringing the house down. The early tune apparently titled Red Flags was a serious banger.

However, not all was quite as it appeared, with Michelle, in the last few minutes, unexpectedly raising some fascinating moral grey areas about her whole interaction with ‘Jacob’, and whether we can actually know – or help – anyone. Online or not.

Red flags indeed.

Reform is happening one more time at the Space Theatre on Sunday June 11 at 5.00pm

Photo credit: Claudio Raschella

Adelaide Cabaret Festival

9 – 24 June 2023



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