A Migrant's Son
- Deborah Chu
- 19 August 2019
This article is from 2019
A heartfelt love letter to the sacrifice, ingenuity and resilience of immigrant families
When Greek-Australian cabaret star Michaela Burger was asked to take the name of a good Catholic saint for her communion, she instead decided to name herself after her father; and by the end of the show, the choice seems very appropriate indeed. Unspooling a century's worth of Greek and Australian history through the lens of her family's singular narrative, A Migrant's Son is a work of musical storytelling that explores the successes and hardships that shaped one man into becoming the remarkable father that she grew up with.
A true feat of songwriting, the original soundtrack for A Migrant's Son is one of those exceptional cases in musical theatre where there isn't a single dud in the track listing. The show's main strength, however, lies in Burger's performance, and the incredible story she has to tell. A deeply charismatic presence on and off-stage, she beautifully renders each individual spirit from her history, from her dauntless γιαγιά to her own smitten mother. Moreover, the incredibly generous Greek feast is not only delicious, but enhances the show's sense of communal conviviality, as audience-members share from plates of dolmades and lamb skewers that would make anyone pine for home, if home were on the Greek islands.
Despite the show's deeply personal roots, the emotional resonance of A Migrant's Son also comes from Burger's ability to celebrate a story that anyone with an immigrant background will know: the difficult choices, the sacrifices and the joy that went into creating the fabric of a family history, but also that which shaped the history of nations everywhere.
Imagination Workshop, until 25 Aug, 5.30pm, meal and show £30 (show only £10).