By Joana Simmons
Hot damn. Hot Brown Honey is tearin’ up the Northcote town hall and tearin’ down patriarchy, entitlement and fear. The impeccably written and designed show is a sassy smorgasboard of dance, poetry, comedy, circus, striptease and song. The vibe feels like a disco crossed with a rock concert and gospel service with its no-excuses-high-energy-let’s-rock-the-boat attitude.
The Queen Bee on her pedestal of swag raps rhymes both humorous and heart-rending, and tells us how “Fighting the power never tasted so sweet (gluten free, no wheat).” Out from the giant lit-up honeycomb-shaped hive, the Honeys fiercely perform solo and group songs, scenes, and energetic and stylistic urban, traditional, tribal and contemporary dance. The range of talent in the cast is immense – hoola hoops, straps and beat-boxing that has my jaw dropping at the precision. All the acts are linked by the narration of the Queen Bee and show depth and connection to the poignant and sometimes dark themes and ideas they are raising. The rousing soundtrack of rnb, inventive remixes, original beats and voice overs had the sold-out opening night audience clapping, cheering and on their feet.
The production quality is outstanding. The lighting is superb – lasers, spots, and the giant hive of rock star quality. I couldn’t go without mentioning the inventive clever costumes that were seamlessly transformed within seconds during complex choreography: pants you can rip off? Wow. Coconut bras you can drink out of? Wow wow. What starts out as a leaf skirt turns into a full dress with head gear? Wow wow wow WOW!
This show is full-power female kick-ass gold. The audience was energised and buzzing all the way to the tram stop. It’s gobsmacking the talent and message this show has to offer: how it challenges everyone to review their views, and inspires everyone to rock the boat. Go see it. Cancel all your plans, tell all your friends if they haven’t heard about it already: because I’m know I’m going to be talking about it for a long time.
Hot Brown Honey for the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Venue: Northcote Town Hall
Dates: April 6-16