Delivered by six Indigenous Australian artists Hot Brown Honey turns striptease, circus and poetry into tools of Black activism and takes cabaret back to its roots as an act of political protest. Creative Tourist-favourite Bryonny Kimmings called it a “mighty sucker punch to the things you thought theatre was capable of,” and we couldn’t agree more – this is a show that subverts with every step.
For a start, it begins with all six of the honeys performing a striptease. But rather than a submissive act for male eyes this is a statement of intent, highlighting the roles that Black women are traditionally supposed to play. This is followed by six separate acts, each of which does its utmost to undermine patriarchal assumptions: circus stunts demonstrate the prison of domestic violence, a burlesque dance kicks holes in colonialist oppression and a beat-boxer dishes out putdowns to male power.
All my talk of politics has probably made this sound a bit too serious, but in fact the Hot Brown Honey’s have a brilliant sense of humour. Yes, they’ve got an important message, but they deliver it with an incredible comic confidence, one that has had audiences calling for encores from Edinburgh to Australia. This is a brilliant show that needs to be seen by as many people as possible.