FRINGE REVIEW: HONKY TONK HEAVEN, GRACE EMILY HOTEL, 2019

If sweet soothing country tunes of America’s southwest are your jam, then you can’t go past Honky Tonk Heaven at the Grace Emily this Fringe season. Inspired by the bars of Texas and Tennessee, Honky Tonk Heaven is a real good ol’ time!

The evening begins with a lesson in the Texas Two Step from Adelaide’s Swing Out Dance School. What might have seemed as a daunting prospect at first, especially for those plagued by two left feet, soon became much easier after indulging in one of the themed cocktail specials.

Once the moves had been mastered, the band started to play. Affectionately known as the ‘Honky Tonkers’, led by vocalist Michaela Jenke and guitarist Mark Bandick, they played hit after hit from the era. Jenke’s dulcet tones were flawless and reminiscent of the greats, such as Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline. Tracks like ‘Hurtin’ on the bottle’ and ‘Tonight the bottle let me down’ (there is no doubt Honky Tonk hits have a theme!) were highlights, as was Swift’s jilted lover anthem ‘You ain’t woman enough to take my man.’

The evening was hosted by comedian Lori Bell who kept the punters in stiches with her playful banter. And the night was not complete without random injections of Chickenshit Bingo – yes, the chicken needs to defecate on your lucky number in order for you to win – in amongst the proceedings. Delicious Southern style cuisine was available, courtesy of Bohemian BBQ.

There can no doubt that all in attendance had an absolute blast, and with Honky Tonk Heaven only back for one more night of the Fringe, Saturday 2nd March, what are y’all waiting for?

Get your tickets HERE.

4 stars

Rachel Gould

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