Tuesday 6 March 2018

Adulting - Melbourne International Comedy Festival preview

Fresh from her wine swigging, nugget-obsessing shenanigans in These Things Take Wine, cabaret performer returns to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with a new show, simply called Adulting. While not explicitly connected, both shows deal with York attempting to get by in life and the frustrations and challenges faced - naturally expressed through song.

"I suppose the two [shows] go together well. They're both similarly autobiographical but Adulting includes more details about my engagement at 19, my obscene amount of parking fines and of course loads of love for my two favourite vices: wine and chicken nuggets!" York tells me. "Expect parodied songs about not being able to afford life, do things like our parents used to and that no matter how hard you pretend to do adult things, life can throw curve balls at you - no matter who you are!"

When pressed on how someone can rack up enough parking fines equivalent to that of a house deposit, York's revelation is both impressive and shocking. "Ignoring life...moving cities...buying a new car so you don't get tracked down for the old one...get your car towed about three times and ignore the bills...you know super grown up stuff! It's okay though, I'm on a payment plan now: $40 a fortnight until 22 April 2031."  

Interestingly enough, parking fines are still not what York considers to be the worst thing about adulting. "For me it's that people think they need to do it the same way as everyone else. That the same questions get asked of you as soon as you hit your late 20s: Are you married? Do you have kids? Do you own this place? Do you have a "Real Job"?" She says. "The answer to all of those is no, and guess what...I'm okay about it!"

Being a seasoned festival circuit performer with her own solo shows as well as being part of numerous ensemble groups such as The Desperettes and Impromptunes, York's love of being a travelling performer has never waned. "I find comedy festivals a great time to be honest! With the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, I'm in The Butterfly Club, and being in a great venue always has a huge impact on what you do and how you do it," York explains. "I think in the past the only thing that has sometimes been tricky is converting an audience that is used to comedy being stand-up to come to a show that includes music/musical comedy. Some people come not realising the whole show is pretty much sung, but they usually get on board!"

While the show had its comedy festival premiere at Perth Fringe followed by Adelaide Fringe, York has been working on Adulting for quite some time prior to its Perth unveiling. "I MC a lot so some of the show was already tried and tested with bits I do in other shows, and others were ideas I had put to stage for the very first time and hoped for the best!" She says. "I did a workshop season as part of the Cabaret Fringe at The Butterfly Club. I wanted to perform Adulting outside of a big festival first, because you have a lot more control over media NOT seeing it and making comment yet. Which is why cabaret fringe festivals are the best for this exact purpose!"

"Only Jamie my piano player had ever seen my show in its entirety before its first season, so opening night I had a lot of creative friends and mentors there to help make comment and shape it further," York explains. "From there I worked on it late last year, and came to Perth Fringe with the new version. I mean it is still cabaret, so the longer I do the show, the more bits and pieces get better and tighter, and of course I continue to have random conversations every night with the audience so that helps keep it interesting."

Having seen These Things Take Wine, York has a knack of being extremely relatable despite her extreme costuming and excess lifestyle as depicted on stage. Adulting appears to be heading down a similar path, and while we might revel in York's voice and storytelling, we will also most undoubtedly be surprised - and maybe shocked - to see ourselves reflected in her stories, reassuring us that being an adult is bloody hard work.


1. My favourite board game is Cranium because it's like five board games in one! 

2. Which movie would you like to see turned into a musical and why? 
Empire Records - because the 90s are the best! 

3. Which one person would you love to come to your show and why?
My year 5 teacher Mr Moss because he hated me, and I just would love to see him squirm so hard as I bash down all the terrible things he used to say about growing up...I can imagine it now...the little dry spit in the corner of his mouth quivering!

4. I will try to keep sane during MICF by eating chicken nuggets! 

5. Why did the chicken cross the road?
Probably to go and eat some nuggets. They're that good a chicken would turn cannibal!


Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne 
Season: 16 -22 April | Mon - Sun 7.00pm
Length: 60 minutes
Tickets: $32 Full | $28 Conc

Bookings: MICF website 

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