January 27, 2023
People & Places

Daniel Michael’s best life

Gluttony’s co-director Daniel Michael is hurtling towards Fringe season, but he took some time for a chat about some of life’s best things.

Daniel Michael with Gluttony co-director Elena Kirschbaum.

Describe the best day of your life.
Putting aside the givens of my wedding day and the births of my two children, I certainly felt a lot of relief and joy on the fourth weekend of Adelaide Fringe 2021. The Gluttony team prepared for that season with the spectre of lockdown and resulting financial catastrophe looming, thanks to COVID-19. In the end, our season went ahead without a hitch. None of the disaster planning on which we had spent months needed to be called upon. It was a beautiful window for the festival to take place; Australian borders were closed, yet we were able to build a wonderfully strong program of local and interstate acts. Adelaideans deserved some art and live entertainment after that first year of COVID, and they got it!

Describe the best meal you’ve ever eaten.
On holiday in Japan in 2010, after an amusing cab ride where the driver was as happily confused as we were, my wife Gemma and I eventually found our way to Esaki. It was a renowned restaurant in an office tower’s basement in Tokyo’s Shibuya, which had just been upgraded from two to three Michelin stars. Within its chic minimalist walls, we were treated to a modern take on Japanese food, showcasing amazing flavours from super fresh produce, and outstanding presentation in that inimitable Japanese way. I watched one of the chefs make a ball of wasabi out of fresh shavings, using only chopsticks to mould it. The care and attention to detail was incredible, with everything crafted slowly to perfection.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
It’s never as good or as bad as it seems.

What is the best photograph you have?
Piggybacking my then four-year-old Leo around George Town, Penang in 2018.

What are the best qualities of your favourite person?
My wife Gemma’s kindness, and how she is comfortable in her own skin.

Best five songs on your playlist?
The problem is my Spotify is infected by my children, but when I can get past their selections, I like listening to punk, soul and drum and bass.

Best ever purchase?
The MOA at Gluttony – a 620-seater and Gluttony’s largest performance venue.

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