Hot Brown Honey, produced by Briefs Factory
Winners of the 2016 Total Theatre Award for Innovation, Experimentation & Playing With Form
Go and see if: You want to be socially challenged and enthused.
Stay away if: You don’t like brash ladies.
Fun, loud, with ATTITUDE and well executed. Technically excellent with genuine emotion engagement. The total composition of the piece is integrally considered; music, set, costume, lights, movement are all aligned to support and portray the message in an accessible and uplifting performance. This is not a show but a revolution, years in the making, that leaves a poignant and uplifted taste in your soul.
Make no mistake, this is a feminist production. It is fierce and confronting and so it should be. It’s creative, modern, slick and talented. Hip-hop, beat boxing, hula-hooping, mc-ing, message delivering, aerial slings dancing, facts giving, highly entertaining cabaret with a concept. An edgy, fully female production with each individual exemplifying their own sassy style, intertwined with incredible skill and authentic, powerful audience interaction.
It’s “time for some cultural awareness training“: not condescending or patronising, it’s upbeat and innovative, taking the subversion of burlesque all the was to Uluru and back again, with it hissing and yelling in a full embodiment of originality.
Emotionally charging the audience to a point that fully supported every step they took – literally, the audience were cheering at steps, it was that magnetising. Taking us up into the hype of empowerment through song and down into the devastation of rape via the medium of aerial slings. Assumptions are exposed with the often hilarious, sometimes hard hitting, undermining of patriarchal and racial assumptions as the crux of the performance.
The audio skills are what gave this show the badge of innovative. It was the musical talents, ideas, edits, mixes and weavings that drove the whole show, amazing singing, excellent mc-ing, fascinating beat-boxing all injected in a cross mix of music in original compositions which injected the attitude into the physical.
Whilst it is predominantly about women of colour in the Southern Hemisphere – particularly Australia – I’m sure this could be relatable elsewhere in the world. Drawing upon Lilla Watson, the Hot Brown Honey company quote “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” I came out ready to dance my way to a new world.
This response was produced as part of the #CircusVoices scheme for developing critical languages around circus arts.