A provocative and spectacular revue, Hot Brown Honey is a lively feminist rally at which the audience are invited to ‘make some noise’ and join the hip hop revolution.
Standing high on a giant, flashing, bee hive is a queen bee DJ with attitude, Kim ‘Busty Beatz’ Bowers (musical director and co-writer). Like any good boss lady, Busty Beatz ensures the operation runs smoothly by creating crowd hype while keeping her ‘honeys’ in check.
When the honeys come out of the hive, a stellar cast of first nation Oceania women are revealed, layer by layer. In many of the acts, highlighting how society think they’ve ‘helped’ women is cleverly juxtaposed with a comical and entertaining portrayal of unpredicted reality. There are the women who were given jobs, only to be treated subserviently (“you are not a maid”). First nation women had no shame in their nudity and were content from living off the land, but white man instilled consumerism for materialistic items and fashion (reverse strip-tease). Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander women were forcibly smothered in Australianism, but the struggle to stay true to roots is real (Australian flag contemporary dance). Then there are this generation’s women who are fortunate enough to reap the benefits of what earlier feminists passionately fought for, only to shame and abuse that right with embarrassing and ungrateful behaviour (the hula hooping Aussie female holidaying in Bali).
Directed by Lisa Fa’alafi — co-writer, choreographer and designer — the two hours of pure entertainment incorporates hip hop, circus, beat boxing, quick change magic, song, music, contemporary dance and sketch.
Pro-feminism or not, this thought-provoking, hilarious, innovative show will get your shoulders shrugging to the beat and your sides hurting from laughing. Above all, you’ll go home thinking about the underlying message: Don’t turn a blind eye, stand up for yourself and others, have the courage to use your voice, and keep at it because 'repetition is key'.
Hot Brown Honey is showing at the Brisbane Powerhouse until 8 April 2018 as part of the WOW Festival.