Returning to the Adelaide Fringe with another relatable cabaret show, award-winning artist Tash York presents Winefulness, an amusing and at times moving musical exploration of how quieting the mind in this crazy world isn’t easy, but can be helped by practicing yoga, meditation, tarot readings, love, forgiveness, growing up, owning cats, and of course, drinking lots of wine.
Armed with a bottle from her wine sponsor, York examines over the course of an hour how much she has changed throughout the past year due to her partaking in the aforementioned hobbies, but also how she is still the same wine-skulling, nugget-eating, badass, big dick energy fuelled girl she has been since her 20’s, just perhaps a little less destructive and a little more adult now. York explores this in her usual cabaret style of covering and rewriting classic hits (such as a version of ‘Lose Yourself’ about the dangers of practicing yoga hungover), performing thematic mash-ups (such as her dream wedding playlist of songs that are about what it’s actually like being married), and creating completely improvised songs (such as a cat rap). She introduces some fresh comedic concepts to her act, such as an ongoing game of ‘Goon of Fortune’ with a mini hills hoist and mini goon sacks attached, while returning to form with some social commentary about ‘not killing women’ and confessional cabaret where she bravely delves into and divulges about the deeper and darker sides of her personal life, such as meeting her father for the first time.
York is a born performer with a smoky powerful voice, expressive delivery, and a hilarious, genuine, likeable personality. Her costuming, makeup and hair-styling is always big, bold, colourful, sparkly and all around incredible, making her a visual as well as audible delight onstage. Her musician and backing singer Arthur Craig is an awesome support who bounces off of York throughout the show (and was a trooper when his guitar string broke at the very end of this performance being reviewed). The sound is well mixed and the lighting is great, playing with colour for different numbers.
While Winefulness doesn’t have as consistent a theme throughout as York’s previous productions, it is still a great cabaret that does eventually tie itself all together at the end to impart the important message that everyone should do something that makes them more self-aware and happy inside…whether that is practicing yoga, meditation, tarot readings, love, forgiveness, owning cats, growing up, or of course, drinking lots of wine.