Just Desserts Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival Review @ Masonic Lodge

Michelle Pearson's 'Just Desserts' played 2019 Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival. Michelle Pearson's 'Just Desserts' played 2019 Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival.

Television cooking shows, such as 'Master Chef' and 'My Kitchen Rules', have been such a cultural phenomenon that we, as a society, spend more time watching others in the kitchen than we spend whipping up meals ourselves.


It’s one of our chief forms of entertainment, alongside raunchy HBO dramas.

With 'Just Desserts', Michelle Pearson has designed a live show about sex, cooking and chocolate; an ideal recipe for luring audiences away from an evening of Netflix and chill with Uber Eats.

Michelle has always possessed a powerhouse voice, a gift for humour and storytelling and an endearing openness about her personal experiences.

With her previous cabaret show, 'Comfort Food Cabaret', though, she cooked up an innovation that has taken her around the world, from Edinburgh to Amsterdam; a fondue of cabaret and cooking.

In 'Just Desserts', as with 'Comfort Food Cabaret', Michelle dishes out songs and stories and deliciously edible dishes; a tiramisu in a cup, a scorching chilli hot chocolate and a creamy raspberry cupcake. It is an extraordinary logistical feat; these are not mass-produced products, but home-made gourmet creations.

The consumption of the treats is linked directly to the content of the show, which discusses indulgence, body image, guilt over-indulgence, but then ultimately arrives at the conclusion that life is too short to count calories and deprive yourself of pleasure and fun.

With the use of props, pop hits by Britney, Sia and Shania Twain, a killer backing band and her golden tonsils, Michelle mixes together a Michelin star worthy performance.

From a storytelling perspective, the serving of the meals does interrupt the flow of the narrative to some extent, as the viewer is transported from watching to consuming, then back to watching.

At the same time, though, the food contributes more than it takes away; the show becomes not just an aural and visual experience, but also a tasty one. You get to discuss each dessert with the people seated beside you, debate whether the hot chocolate was too hot or just right; it’s an interactive and communal experience.

'Just Desserts' is a chance to eat, drink and be merry with others; as such, it is a show about more than just desserts.

★★★★☆


'Just Desserts' played as part of 2019 Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival at Gluttony (Masonic Lodge) 31 May and 1 June.

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