Hot Brown Honey

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

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

Devon Cartwright
About the Author
Devon is a freelance theatre critic, director, and event manager based in Melbourne with network connections in Brisbane and Sydney, as well as internationally across Canada, the US, and Europe. He holds an Advanced Diploma in Music Theatre Performance from St Clair College in Windsor Canada, and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies from the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Drama in London UK; in addition to this, he studied on exchange with the University of Windsor (Communications, Media & Film) and Griffith University (Contemporary & Applied Theatre). Devon has been involved in the operations of venues across Australia including the Brisbane Powerhouse, Redland Performing Arts Centre in Queensland, Gasworks Arts Park in Melbourne, and most notably with Cirque du Soleil during their 2016-2017 Australian tour of Kooza.