This review was written for mindshare, a creative community and online mental health publication. Reflections are by mindshare writers with lived experience of mental illness,specifically critiquing through a mental health lens. Content may contain triggering themes.
2020 was, for many, a year that belongs in the trash. With lockdowns, anti-vaxxers, internet trolls and Karens—and other trash from 2020 that was recommended by the audience via text—Tash York and the red wines (Tash's backing vocalists, June bag and Vino Fonteyn) set out to put these things in the bin (with the help of wine).
Tash York sure knows how to make a grand entrance on stage. Dressed in the finest trash (Coles recycled bags) and latex, she starts the show with an amazing rendition of History Repeating, showcasing her tremendous vocal ability and range. Tash called herself the Wish version of Amy Winehouse, but I have bought items from Wish and they have never been of the same quality as Tash.
Tash continually blew me away with her vocal talents and how versatile she is. Whether the style was jazz, swing, pop or rap, Tash nailed it every time. Tash's parody lyrics using well-known tunes made the audience laugh and bop along at the same time.
Tash used the show to trash talk 2020 and share her dread of human interaction and small talk after lockdown. She took the opportunity to be upfront about her anxiety, in the hope of normalising mental illness. Though 2020 was emotionally tough on her, Tash did have a strong support system, in the form of her three cats Hippo, Batman and Aretha (who has anxiety, just like Tash). Her cats inspired Tash to dedicate a song to them, embracing being called a crazy cat lady.
Tash and The Red Red Wines had amazing chemistry together, constantly playing off each other with banter and following each other's lead. This ensured the show gelled together. The improv section of the show really exemplified how well they mesh together and how well they bounce off each other's energy. It was obvious they enjoy performing together. June Bag and Vino Fonteyn are very talented backup artists and provide great comedic timing, without ever overshadowing the show or Tash.
It was the final act of the production that brought the audience to tears, specifically her original song, “You’re not trash, you are a treasure to me”. These lyrics reassured us that we are worthy and our inner trash talk is lying to us. Tash Yorke’s message resonated with the crowd; the audience were all on the same emotional journey and it made for a beautiful end to the show.
Tash York is a cabaret superstar who connects with her audience like only a few can. Not every performer can arouse a standing ovation from their audience. But Tash did just that and you could tell it meant the world to her.
I joined the audience in a standing ovation for Tash York and The Red Red wines: Trash Talk. It really was that good. It deserves 5 stars.