Expressivo (Reviews)

Review: Petty Bitches

In their triumphant return to the Adelaide Fringe, critically acclaimed duo Tash York and Boo Dwyer are here to embrace our inner pettiness in an hour-long conference of infectious musical numbers and gut-busting comedy.

Tash York and Boo Dwyer | image supplied

If there were a school for petty behaviour, these divas would surely be the leading professors in their field. Throughout the show, York and Dwyer serve as our all-knowing mentors who guide us into becoming a petty extraordinaire. They begin by explaining that while our pettiness can reveal itself in many situations, it can also be masterfully executed in different ways. Whether you’re in the workplace, or in transit, showing your petty side can play to your advantage if it’s done with intent and conviction. With the help of a slideshow presentation, and a Katy Perry voiceover, the pair reveal their B.I.T.C.H system. The acronym (standing for bold, inception, triumph, confidence, and hero) becomes an essential guide that’s implemented throughout the show.

York and Dwyer are comedic masterminds who know exactly how to tickle the funny bone of their audience. They possess humorous physicality that’s on par with some of the most notorious lady twosomes—such as Kath and Kim, or Edina and Patsy. The chemistry between them is unshakeable and they’re able to bounce off one another with ease. This is demonstrated in their slightly catty behaviour towards each other and how they portray themselves as the archetypal ‘frenemies’. They’re also able to shift effortlessly between the scripted components of their performance, and the improvised audience interactions. These sorts of qualities add a lot of depth and maturity to the characterisation of their sassy personas.

The pair also show cohesiveness through their vocal abilities, belting out delightfully savage parodies of Brittany Spears, Dolly Parton, and Katy Perry (to name just a few). Their musicality is definitely one of their strengths, especially when York and Dwyer have a melodramatic argument that’s communicated exclusively through the blowing of their kazoos. Even when York accidentally sends her instrument flying across the stage, the pair still manage to laugh it off and maintain their composure.

With a ‘petty affirmation’, a karaoke, and a 90s melody that’s (somehow) crammed into the mix, it’s easy to fall in love with this show. It comes as no surprise Petty Bitches has garnered so much attention in the past. It’s sharp and hilarious, but most of all, it’s thoroughly entertaining. If you’ve ever needed validation for your passive-aggressive post-it notes, or have ever been a little too sassy towards one of your co-workers, you absolutely need to buy a ticket.

Rating: ★★★★1/2
Reviewed performance: 3 March 2020

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