Hot Brown Honey
Brisbane Festival & Briefs Factory
In Association with Judith Wright Centre
Judith Wright Centre Performance Space
September 16 – 26 2015
Reviewed by Amanda Murrell
After paying tribute to the traditional custodians of country, and deeply honouring ancestors and the great women who have come before us to light the path, the Honeys deliver radical anti-racist entertainment that smashes the alabaster pedestal of privilege and would have made old Aunty Judy Wright, whose namesake is the theatre in which they perform, very proud.
The show treats the crowd to the full effect of “Honey posse”, with more costume tear-aways than Ru Paul’s Drag Race and equal amounts of pride. From hip hop garb to cultural dress to work outfits, showcasing a dozen different flavours of glamour and varying degrees of undress, this production is a visual feast. But more than that, it’s a call for respect; from the first number, which incorporates the graceful shedding of the Union Jack to the Honeys’ final cavort through an appreciative audience.
Highlights include an ensemble dance number to a soundscape that uses excerpts from the savvy and insightful Unpacking the Knapsack of Privilege (Can I get a “hell yeah!?”), the full-tilt boogie Don’t Touch My Hair, Darwin’s Indigenous drag diva’s perfect impersonation of Peter Garret’s dance moves, beatbox songs of hope, and a chilling rope performance prefaced by a recording of a domestic violence call to emergency services.
The Honeys pull no punches in creating a strong, proud, perfectly executed performance that celebrates brown girl strength and breaks down ignorance.
As hard hitting as the show’s message is, the blows are soothed by humour, humility and the performers’ vulnerability. If you don’t catch their next shows, you’re too white for words.