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Hot Brown Honey review at Southbank Centre, London – ‘fierce and political’

Hot Brown Honey is here to explode everything you thought you knew about cabaret. The Australian neo-burlesque collective perform a full throttle show accompanied by a pounding soundtrack spun by ‘Queen Bee’ Busty Beatz, from atop her glowing hive.

The seven performers pull out new threads from familiar cabaret acts. Stereotypes are subverted and the audience seduced. Lisa Fa’alafi’s burlesque routine is a disruption of the male and National Geographic gaze that has exoticised and other-ed indigenous people. Her Polynesian maiden transforms from shampoo-commercial fantasy to swaggering warrior woman. It’s typical of the exuberant naughtiness that runs throughout this show. Hope Hammi culminating her beatbox seduction of one lucky, audience member with a glitter canon orgasm.

Crystal Stacey’s hula-hooping is mesmeric and satirical but it’s her final aerial piece, a moment of deep, genuine emotion, that’s seemingly incongruous in such a fast-paced performance, that has the audience on their feet even before the final dance-off curtain call.

This is cabaret with a passionate message that makes no concessions. There is no hiding from the Honeys’ politics, it’s in your face in Ofa Fotu belting out This is a Man’s World while dressed as a Golliwog, the racist child’s toy that apparently 63% of Brits don’t consider offensive. It’s there in ‘The Privilege Test’ in which the women, lit brightly, slowly raise their hands as if in the glare of a police car’s headlights. It all contributes to the power of this knock-out show.

Hive City Legacy review at Roundhouse, London – ‘explosive and invigorating’ [1]

Verdict
Fierce and political fist-pumping cabaret from the Australian neo-burlesque collective

Production

Production
Hot Brown Honey
Venue
Southbank Centre
City
London
Starts
July 24, 2018
Ends
July 28, 2018
Authors
Lisa Fa’alafi  and Kim 'Busty Beatz' Bowers 
Director
Lisa Fa’alafi and Busty Beatz
Musical director
Busty Beatz
Set
Tristan Shelly
Lighting
Paul Lim
Sound
Busty Beatz 
Cast includes
Lisa Fa’alafi, Ofa Fotu, Hope Haami, Crystal Stacey, Elena Wangurra, Yami 'Rowdy' Lofvenberg and Busty Beatz
Producer
The Briefs Factory
Running time
1hr 15mins