Tash York’s Happy Hour

MF22-Happy-Hour-Vivian-Fonteyn-Tash-York-Peppy-Smears-photo-by-Jayden-Byrne-PhotographyAs a Melbourne resident, multi-award-winning cabaret artiste Tash York endured 262 days of lockdowns in our time of peak pandemic panic.

This taught her the importance of making time for what makes you happy. She’s keen to share her hard-earned life lessons with a mature audience, through story and song, in Tash York’s Happy Hour.

York has presented memorable shows over the years, from These Things Take Wine to Best Lyf with Boo Dwyer as the Petty Bitches. Wine is a regular topic of discussion, and there’s even more of it here, with musical backing from The Red Red Wines: violinist Vivian Fonteyn and pianist Peppy Smears

York likes some audience participation in her shows, but it’s all low-pressure. She also continued her tradition of adapting the lyrics of well-known pop tunes so that she can tell us her isolation stories.

One successful case was her take on Alone (popularised by 80s pop-rock chicks Heart), which was greeted with much laughter. As this is cabaret, we expect costume changes, and we had some rippers.

There are also some new elements for a York show, including, aptly, the game “Goon of Fortune” – which gave our songstress a chance to show her adaptability. The campy lads of the Red Red Wines showed themselves to be extremely capable with comedic cameos and the musical offerings, helping this three-person show feel like a big night out.

It is especially unfortunate that the Common Rooms bar doesn’t open until 10.00pm. Hopefully something can be done about this for the rest of the season. Otherwise, make time to get your drinks at the ground floor bar beforehand, and make the most of the limited cabaret seating in the room.

York always crams a lot into her shows, so it can be hard to recall all the details afterwards. Sadly, there aren’t many recordings of her work available either. However, audiences won’t quickly forget the trashy fun of this Happy Hour.

If you also booked for Shit-Wrecked! immediately before (also in this venue), you would have a double shot of cabaret enjoyment that will bring happiness to a lot of Melbourne Fringe punters.

Tash York’s Happy Hour
Trades Hall – Common Rooms, Corner Lygon & Victoria Streets, Carlton
Performance: Saturday 8 October 2022 – 8.30pm
Season continues to 14 October 2022
Information and Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au

Image: Vivian Fonteyn, Tash York and Peppy Smears – photo by Jayden Byrne Photography

Review: Jason Whyte