Hot Brown Honey

Devon Cartwright

Everything about this show is a true testament to Black Honey Company's ability to command respect from their audience.
Hot Brown Honey

Image: www.brisbanefestival.com.au

Simply put, this performance is *insert explicit* amazing! These performers really know how to use cheeky, sassy, in-your-face attitude to come across as something truly spectacular. Everything about this show is a true testament to Black Honey Company's ability to command respect from their audience. The costumes are out of this world, and they manage to pull them off (literally) in the most tasteful and imaginative ways. Musically, this show is a mix of hip-hop, beat boxing, classic rock, and others which appeals to a wide range of music styles. They approach a variety of social issues that resonate with the western world, and in particular Australia. Dealing with issues ranging from cultural appropriation, domestic abuse, racism, and the fall-out from colonial occupation, this performance hits the nail on its' head and drives it home in a tasteful, entertaining, and enlightening manner.

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True to the performance's name, the set is made to look like a honey comb from a bee hive; the central portion of the structure is movable allowing the cast to utilise it for more elaborate set pieces or entrances. Potential audience members should be wary of adult language, subject matter, strobe lighting, and smoke machine usage. However, if you are comfortable with this type of conduct, then you are in for a fantastic performance.

Anyone who says that Brisbane is not a city with great performances or artists, has never been to this production. It's no wonder that Black Honey Company has become a very successful group and its members being involved in a number of productions locally, nationally, and internationally. It's clear from the performance that the cast not only enjoys, but thrives on giving the audience the best time they could ever hope for. Audience members lucky enough to gain seating at one of the tables near the stage will be privileged to up-close and personal encounters with the cast that they will never forget. Interaction with the cast is fully encouraged, and the audience should not even think about holding back from giving them all the attention the performers deserved.

There were moments ​during some of the dances that could use tightening up. That being said however, these dances are well performed, choreographed, and used elements that are both familiar and unique. The production as a whole is amazing, creative, and thought provoking; Black Honey Company has outdone themselves, and it showed in the standing ovation they received from the audience.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Hot Brown Honey

Director | Choreographer | Designer: Lisa Fa’alafi
Musical Director | Composer | Sound Designer: Busty Beatz
Dance Captain: Samatha Williams
Lighting Designer: Paul Lim
Production Manager | Assistant Lighting Designer: Sam Doyle
Set: Tristan Shelly
Creative Producer: Sasha Zahra
Cast Kim 'Busty Beatz' Bowers, Lisa Fa’alafi, Hope 'HopeOne' Haami, Ofa Fotu, Crystal Stacey, Juanita Duncan, Sammie Williams, Benjamin Graetz

Brisbane Festival
Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts
16 – 26 September

What the stars mean?
  • Five stars: Exceptional, unforgettable, a must see
  • Four and a half stars: Excellent, definitely worth seeing
  • Four stars: Accomplished and engrossing but not the best of its kind
  • Three and a half stars: Good, clever, well made, but not brilliant
  • Three stars: Solid, enjoyable, but unremarkable or flawed
  • Two and half stars: Neither good nor bad, just adequate
  • Two stars: Not without its moments, but ultimately unsuccessful
  • One star: Awful, to be avoided
  • Zero stars: Genuinely dreadful, bad on every level

About the author

Devon is a free-lance Canadian director and Reviewer for ArtsHub. Graduated from St Clair College with an Advanced Diploma in Music Theatre Performance, and studied on exchange with the University of Windsor (Communications, Media, & Film) and Griffith University (Contemporary and Applied Theatre).

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