Cabaret Fringe Festival
Gluttony - Masonic Lodge
Until 28 Jun 2019

Review by Helen Karakulak

The Cabaret Fringe Festival’s “Petty Bitches” is an outrageously amusing conference like no other, truly encompassing the acronym it preaches. It is taught that to be a bitch is to be bold, skilled at inception, to triumph, have confidence, and value petty heroes. Tash York and Boo Dwyer make themselves petty heroes, bursting with confidence in this display of bold comedy, filled with a triumphant use of minimal props and conference style resources.

Dwyer and York maintain high energy and enthusiasm throughout their performance, their natural chemistry being a clear asset, despite the duo not always getting along. A welcomed, although unexpected, highlight of “Petty Bitches” is a masterfully melodramatic instrumental argument, played on kazoos. Utilising well known songs, the two stare each other down, communicating only through kazoo blasts varying from the intimate to the intense, along with humorous physicality.

“Petty Bitches” included tactful conference style elements, such as a PowerPoint presentation and clips from films including “Pretty Woman”, “Clueless”, and “the Terminator” providing scenes of petty bitchiness in practice, to accompany the major theme of the production, and encourage audiences to embrace their petty.

Considering the novice feel of the performance, York’s vocals surprised and delighted. Unfortunately, at times the musical element, specifically a 90s medley and karaoke component, felt forced. It could have become tiresome had it not been for York and Dwyer’s satirical stage presence maintaining audience engagement throughout.

Elements of nostalgia present in the instrumentals parodied and the style of choreography cemented a premise that could very easily seem overdone this cabaret season. However, the sheer talent of Dwyer and York and their relatable lyrics made it a delight to watch, and truly showcased the positives of being a petty bitch. 55 minutes of fun was plenty of time for Dwyer and York to showcase their cheeky humour, free-spirited nature, and musical talent.