The Reforming character

Michelle Brasier; a woman obsessed with Brummie accents and coffee.

Comedian and ‘the girl one’ from Aunty Donna, Michelle Brasier is taking her five-star sell-out show Reform on the road and is coming to The Glee Club, Birmingham on Tuesday 28th May 2024.

Reform tells the story of how Michelle ended up being the emergency contact for a stranger who tried to scam her out of her money over Facebook Marketplace. It’s a cautionary tale laced with friendship, radical empathy, redemption, kindness and understanding of those who have done us wrong. Reform is not only inspiring, but unbelievably true.

Can you tell us what Reform is about?

“In 2020, I tried to buy a Pilates reformer online. When it turned out to be a scam, I became obsessed with finding the man who scammed me and finding out why and how he’d ended up here. It’s about the moment I chose to lose $500 but make a friend.

“Sometimes you put your scammer in prison and sometimes you become their emergency contact. It’s a show about living in the grey areas in life in a time when everyone is obsessed with the black and white. A rejection of judgement, a call for hope and an argument for assuming the best in people even when they prove themselves, time and time again, to be an absolute dickhead.”

Is this a true story? What made you want to turn it into a stand up show? 

“Unfortunately, this is an absolutely true story. While it was happening, I was giving live updates on my friends podcast, Free to a Good Home and on our major Aussie radio station which people were absolutely going bonkers for, so I knew there was a juicy story there and figured I might as well throw in a couple of songs and a live band.

“I had just had so much success with my previous show Average Bear which was wonderful, but the pressure was high, and second-album-syndrome was heavy, so I was actually relieved to have something else awful happen to me that I could make a show out of. When life gives you lemons – make lemonade, win awards, and look around desperately for more lemons to make more. THE PEOPLE WANT LEMONADE! SHAKE THE TREE! MESSAGE THE SCAMMER!”

Can you give us some tips on how to spot a scammer online? What are the warning signs?

“I am so clearly the wrong person to ask this, but I think you should only buy things from places that accept PayPal and never buy anything from a man holding a fish in his profile picture. These are my mistakes; may you learn from them. I certainly haven’t.”

Can you share any memorable or unexpected reactions from audiences during your performances of Reform? 

“A lot of social workers and psychologists really love it. I suppose they are working with people who are in need of a second chance sometimes and they tell me it’s nice to see someone advocating for that with a bit of humour rather than the black and white / good or bad judgement we tend to rely on. It’s easy to judge someone. Oh, and during the show people always scream things like “Stop!” and ‘Michelle, no!’ which I really enjoy because the story has already happened. I can’t stop this train, baby! There are a lot of laughs with me and at me.”

You’re now your scammer’s emergency contact – has he used this at all, and if so, what for?

“This is a bit of a spoiler for the show!”

What do you hope audiences take away from Reform and your performance? 

“I hope people leave ready to assume the best of people. This show tends to engage the audience in a pretty hectic conversation afterwards which I really love. I just want them to leave feeling like their cheeks hurt and they’ve got a song in their head that they’d like to hear again.

“But then they get home, and they go on Spotify and they can’t find it, so then they DM me on Instagram saying, ‘Please record your songs’ and I say, ‘I will’ but then I get busy and I just do not do it over and over. I am working on it. Sorry in advance. Give me a few months, I’m BUSY, I’m a woman in TELEVISION!”

And finally, what are you most looking forward to about your show in Birmingham?

“Birmingham has one of the coolest accents in the world. I am obsessed with it. It sounds so cool to me. I also cannot wait to try the cafes because for me, a city with one million parks and slightly younger population sounds like excellent coffee and that’s the dream, baby.”

Reform comes to The Glee Club, Birmingham on Tuesday 28th May 2024. For tickets, click here.