Thursday 13 July 2017

Adulting - Cabaret Review

What: Adulting
When: 11 - 16 July
Where: The Butterfly Club
Written by: Tash York
Performed by: Jamie Burgess and Tash York

Jamie Burgess and Tash York
Adulting is the new cabaret by Tash York playing at The Butterfly Club and follows on her wildly successful show These Things Take Wine. The journey of her life time, York stumbles through the milestones of growing up marked by the pop megahits through those ages.

Do you remember sitting at the back of the science lab in high school making up rude alternative lyrics to the songs on the radio? In fact, do you remember radio? (York makes it clear if you don't know what a CD is there is nothing in this cabaret for you!).

I digress. Do you remember those days in high school? This is what the Adulting experience feels like. Except that York (and Jamie Burgess) know what they are doing and can actually tell a story as well as be outrageous...

Beginning her the show as a life size blow up baby doll (I am not joking), York starts  with the hint of a rap before muddling into Britney Spears and Destiny's Child. Yes, you will notice a distinctly feminine musical tendency.

We hear about her tribulations as the only girl in school who, at the grand old age of 14 is the only one who has not begun to menstruate despite practice insertions of tampons in the hope that she would spring a leak. We hear about her first boyfriend. Gratefully we do not get to hear about losing her virginity. This is when we know the show is not going to be mired in predictability and the ho hum.

Traversing through music by Aqua and Gewn Stefani we eventually make it through to that horrible end game - adulthood. Adulting is no homage to the joys of being a grown up. It is a wry, desperate laugh at the utter poverty, disfunctional relationships and tough life choices that come with reaching the age of 18 and beyond.

York makes some incisive points about the expectation on women to want to get married and breed but Adulting is not polemically feminist. It is a gentle and funny reminder of that old adage 'be careful what you wish for because you just might get it'. We spend all of our childhood desperate to become a grown up but when we get here the only way to survive is to cling to your inner child.

York has an amazing voice so even if some of the songs are predictable you don't get tired of hearing her sing them and I often found myself trying to sing along. When she sings 'The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face' for her mother everybody in the room was breathless and mesmerised. You could have heard a pin drop but that would have been annoying because all you want to hear is York's glorious voice soar.

Burgess does not just tinkle the ivories for her either. He is her grounding with reality, her straight man and he is not afraid to come out from behind the piano to keep her on track.

Adulting is a little bit of fun which will give you a good laugh, remind you of your own growing years, and help you know you are not alone as you spend the rest of your life paying off parking fines from a misspent youth. Grab a mulled wine to warm you up and then settle in for a barrel full of chuckles.

3 Stars

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