Reviewed by: Fringefeed
Review by Paul Meek | 02 February 2023

Tash York, self-confessed Trash Queen, winner of a literal plethora of cabaret gongs the length and breadth of the country, triumphantly returns to FRINGE WORLD for the first time since the planet turned sideways, in new show Happy Hour, brought to Perth by 242 days of lockdown chicken nuggets and the best goon a fiver can buy.

From start to finish, from Celine Dion to Foo Fighters and onto her own originals, Tash’s voice is powerhouse. The structure of the hour, the more playful comedy ad libs to begin, through the more heartfelt pieces as we progress, is pitch perfect.

Tash has fabulous support from her backing duo, the Red Red Wines. Peppy Smears and Vivian Fonteyn are more than accomplished performers in their own rights, effortlessly covering transitions and costume changes, with some of the fiercest one liners of the night - they could easily headline their own spin off series, in this Tash York Cinematic Universe. The audience, lapping it all up, like any of Tash’s reportedly seven hundred cats.

At the heart of the hour, is acceptance of, even happiness with, self. Tash unapologetically drinks the pool of wine, practises self-care, slays her insecurities, loves herself, and makes the effort to bring this all into her art. She centres this work, all for the audience. And that ethos absolutely shines through.

It’s a celebration of the positive, with none of our all-too-common everyday cynicism. That realisation comes slowly, behind the cat rap, behind Tash’s high school emo poetry, even behind the reworking of LMFAO as Phantom of the Opera but ragtime, but it’s a clear through line all performance.

Towards the end, Tash threatens a forty-five-minute Enya medley. There is no doubt this Enya Cut both already exists and, if deployed, would have brought the house down on an already stellar piece.

Essential viewing this festival.