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Review: Tash York’s Happy Hour at Bondi Pavilion, Seagull Cabaret Hall

Review by Lauren Donikian

Everyone’s lockdown period was different. Some people took up baking or caught up on tv shows they hadn’t watched yet, but Tash York spent her time writing. The AFAB (assigned female at birth) Drag Queen enters the room and stuns the audience. With her red hair wrapped up in a beehive with a blue scarf, large hoop earrings with Tash on one and York on the other and a sheer midnight blue cloak with tulle detail on the bottom and sides she looks incredible, and her voice is too. York welcomes everyone and encourages them to feel safe and to leave their bad thoughts at the door. Or at least give them to her to make a song out of. Improvised on the spot, York raps about cats and sings about things that grind peoples’ gears. It is a variety hour that York shares with the Red Red Wines Peppy Smears and Vivian Fonteyn. Together they sing, laugh and banter with each other proving that they are a strong team and work well together. Fonteyn takes a lot of verbal hits during the show, but clearly nothing phases them. Originally in a suit with shorts, throughout the show they change into a sparkly red dress with a wig to match. They play the violin, sing, and accompany York through the hour-long show. Peppy Smears has a real presence, in a black suit with red hair Smears is confident and assured in their role. They accompany York on the Keyboard, sing and are one of her two backup dances. Fonteyn and Smears are very talented musicians, and this is made even clearer when they sing their duet. All I will say is that if you are a fan of Disney, you will like this song. Written by York, the night carries on smoothly with constant conversation between the cast or with members of the audience.

York has spent a lot of time getting to know herself. It is no surprise that during the pandemic (panini, as she likes to call it) she thought about how it would affect her and other creatives. She used it to her advantage, to play with make-up, write songs again and create a show that provides people joy. She is a breath of fresh air, being honest about her sexuality, relationships, and love of cats. She is also a huge fan of wine. Like, a really huge fan of wine. She wows the crowds with her vocals, singing power ballads and songs of her own. Her voice is powerful and smooth like butter, with a bit of rasp when you least expect it. The show is cleverly written. York has no filter, and the audience are at such ease because of her level of confidence that their inhibitions are down, and they play along. With bubble blowers in their hands and smiles on their faces the audience left feeling elated and much happier than when they walked it. That is all York wanted from this show, for people to be happy and that is reason enough to like her more.

Image Supplied


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