Review: Tania Lacy: Everything’s Coming Up Roses at Hell’s Kitchen, Rhino Room

Review by Matthew Hocter


Tania. Lacy.


For most Gen X’ers Lacy was a beacon of youth and rebellion in the late 80’s, early 90’s, an uncommon commodity being a young woman on TV at the time. She was funny, charismatic, über fashionable and was one of the pioneers in Australia of guerilla TV, mixing with celebrity’s elite. In short, Lacy was what the youth of today would call “iconic.” The funny thing is, this is where the correct usage of the word is used to perfection. Tania Lacy is iconic.


That status, rightly deserved, starts with the slew of TV credits to her name. Lacy then shifted gears and careers and moved more into writing, having penned (and starred in) numerous scripts (Titsiana Booberini, Pussy Got Your Tongue), as well as two children's books. But a love for comedy, something that has always been the basis of her artistry, has seen her return (finally) to Australia after seven years in Berlin and more importantly, Australian stages.


Making her Adelaide Fringe debut, Lacy and her one woman show, Everything's Coming Up Roses, is a tightly scripted deep dive into Lacy’s life in Germany and all that comes with that, and the everyday not so glamorous things like raising a teen and ageing, all things Lacy manages to turn inside out and then put a deliciously comical spin on.


Playing to a very intimate audience, Lacy proved just why her career has spanned more than thirty years. She is unafraid to not only face the elephant in the room, but conquer it and then somehow make you laugh about it, comfortably or not. Definitely not an easy feat and most definitely something that only time and experience can afford the most consummate of professionals.


Lacy’s stories were funny, at times poignant and deep. Reminding us that women still have a long way to go in show biz, and yet work twice as hard to get barely half of what is on offer. That’s not to say that Lacy is complaining - she isn’t. The discussion around misogyny and its existence in society is everywhere, even in the supposed “safe spaces” that we call comedy.


Covering everything from clown porn to menopause, it was Lacys final act of the night that stole the show. For those not old enough to remember that Kylie’s (Minogue) first hit was the “Locomotion,” jump onto google and have a look at the film clip. Not only is one very spunky Tania Lacy dancing in the film clip, the former ballerina also choreographed it. Needless to say, when we were told that she was going to re-enact the dance scene on stage, live, before our very eyes, well it felt like I had come full circle. This life was now complete.


Tania Lacy is one of Australia's most underappreciated talents. She has not been given enough credit for her contributions to the arts at large in this country and to see her perform live on stage was nothing short of inspirational. A writer at heart, it is impossible to ignore just how intelligent and articulate her words are. Her timing was on point and her jokes were smart with just enough sass, never venturing into the all too familiar vulgarity that so many others happily swim in these days.


I have an idea for the title of her next show; Tania Lacy is Iconic. Even if it doesn’t make the cut, at least we know it's the truth.

Image Supplied