Just Desserts

A cabaret with desserts could have been light, fluffy fare but Michelle Pearson isn’t afraid to get into the more bitter ingredients in life. She peppers the show with short tales and thoughts on body image, her childhood, the empowerment of women and of course our obsessions with dessert. Each song is chosen to follow or frame the tales. The music is performed by a four-piece band with a selection that covers pop, Motown, country and rock and although some of the song choices may be a bit on the nose, that’s no bad thing in a cabaret that wears its sugar heart on its sleeve.

A celebration of excess

Pearson is a personable host; charming and funny with a hell of a voice. Her cookery skills are top notch too. We get to sample cupcakes, brownies and mousse and there’s plenty for everyone to have a taste. The venue at Underbelly Cowgate is certainly at oven temperature but that doesn’t stifle the enthusiasm of the audience. There was a split between those who were perhaps expecting a more sedate show and those who are literally dancing in the aisles.

Just Desserts does feel a little disjointed at times. Each break where the band play and Pearson and her assistant hand out the treats gives the audience a chance to chat. This inevitably leads to some folk who never return to focus on the show. A few angry shushes are passed around, which is unfortunate for a show that clearly aims to be inclusive. It is a show in celebration of excess even if that is excessive ebullience.

Looking for a late-night singalong with snacks thrown in hosted by a powerful and charismatic lady? Just Desserts isn't a bad way to finish off your day at the Fringe. If you don’t find yourself singing along with the final medley, then you absolutely don’t deserve any pudding.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Australia's singing cook turns up the heat in her award-winning musical food cabaret. Featuring a live rock-pop-powered soundtrack, this sensual chanteuse explores empowerment, social pressure, our obsession with perfection and desire through song, sex and sugar. Includes dessert! Winner of Best Cabaret (weekly) at Adelaide Fringe 2019, and Made in Adelaide 2019 award winner. 'There's no faulting this show' ***** (GlamAdelaide.com.au). 'Michelle invites you into her scrumptious world and you don't want the night to end' ***** (BroadwayWorld.com). Don't miss this delicious UK debut from the maker of the award-winning Comfort Food Cabaret.

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