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Winefulness - Weekend Notes ★★★★1/2

Just like a fine wine that has been through a range of extensive production steps and is finally ready to be bottled up and poured out for pure enjoyment, we have the insatiable Tash York who has put together one flavoursome show called Winefulness. Packing cleverly crafted and sharp-witted wine-inspired anecdotes into her methods of maintaining mindfulness and wellbeing, York represents her life adventures through the art of storytelling and singalongs with a warmly welcomed audience - just like perfectly-curated drops of fermented grapes.

A one-woman show that is accompanied by her trusted guitarist, drummer, and bassist Arthur Craig, York has used a series of seemingly ordinary topics (love, relationships, family, friends, cats, yoga, and getting a wine sponsorship) and sprinkled them with her signature York twist that makes the stories extraordinary and intriguing to tune into. By mixing just the right amount of banter and narrative, York transitions naturally into a song that perfectly captures the essence of her story.

With the vocal cords of a nightingale, York is able to encompass her audiences with her melodious harmonies, which are remastered renditions of some of the greatest hits, the lyrics of which are manipulated to relate back to York's exciting and unique lifestyle as a full-time artist and performer. While I have seen York repeatedly perform a banger show year after year, I have never heard her rapping skills. Now, I must digress - rapping is something that you'd rather leave to the professionals and that is exactly why York left me floored with not only her ability to rap, but come up with the lyrics on the spot by improvising with a few keywords that she was thrown her way by her audience!

Just as you get to the end of a bottle of wine, York's show has been set up to replicate the different stages of drinking a glass (or few) with your friends, where you feel a buzz, you get into the mode of wanting to play games (Goon of Fortune, anyone?), you are determined to sing your hearts out, and you hit a moment where everything is given a sentimental, heart-to-heart poignancy about past traumas and the healing that comes with it. Yes, York's shows are mostly lighthearted and hilarious beyond belief, but just as fine wine ages gracefully, so does York, as she shows a sense of growth through her ability to not only do a damn good job of delivering a stellar show to her audience, but also being in touch with emotions of happiness and joy, in addition to sadness and heartfelt poignancy.

I have been to York's shows over the past three years now and one thing that has remained a constant is her strong advocacy for mental health awareness and making sure people look after themselves and take a step back when it all gets too overwhelming (guilt-free, of course)! It's one of the reasons that inspired her show Winefulness, which was fueled from her desire to take up yoga and meditation (to balance her health and wellbeing given her hectic schedule), and was suggested by a friend while they were catching up over a glass of wine.

York is thoroughly likeable and has a dynamic energy that envelops her audience into this feel-good show, as she channels her inner goddess and shares her talents with all of us to revel in. Just as she presents herself off stage, so does her enigmatic charisma take precedence on stage. She exuberates a level of confidence that is not only admirable, but also inspiring. With her musician Arthur, they are a dream team, bouncing off of each other's vivacious energies and creating an atmosphere that is homey, cozy, and oh so inviting for the audience to join in and have some fun.

York's cabaret and comedy show is an absolute riot - it is hilarious and lighthearted, but it also resonates strongly with vibes synonymous to her own life stories, that makes this show endearing and enlightening for all the right reasons. Behind the glitz, the glamour, and the gorgeous bouffant hairstyle, York has been thrown a number of curve-balls which, whilst gruelling and unfortunate, have allowed her to use means such as yoga and wine to take on the responsibility of looking after her own health (physical, mental, and emotional) and simultaneously creating a relatable and entertaining show for our merry enjoyment. Watching York skull (multiple glasses of) her sponsored wine was a delicious treat and a great way to kick off the Hump Day festivities in style.

The woman can not only sing, entertain, and perform, but she can also hold her wine better than most of us (definitely more than a super lightweight like myself), so I can guarantee you that the show will be a great way to get into the fun and madness of the Adelaide Fringe season (which now has less than two weeks to go).


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