Hot Brown Honey

Five female performers demolish a much-hated patriarchy with songs, acrobatics and dance.

music review (edinburgh) | Read in About 2 minutes
Published 12 Aug 2016

The five female performers of Hot Brown Honey use the show to deconstruct a male version of the world, doing so through a mixture of dance, acrobatics and song. A “preacher” presides over the action from a vantage point above the stage. In place of a much hated “patriarchy”, the women offer us a glimpse of female entitlement. They show us a world where women own not just their bodies but their entire lives – reproductive, sexual and professional.

The show is adept at demolishing all kinds of gender stereotypes. A Polynesian beauty is just glimpsed at first. She appears— initially at least—to conform to the myth of tropical and very passive loveliness. But then she turns herself into a warrior-like dancer, kitted herself out with palm leaves, and the audience cheers.

It all opens with what appears to be a raffle. Subsequent events make us think that the lucky “winner”, a male member of the audience who becomes the butt of the show’s jokes, might not have been so lucky after all.

Hot Brown Honey switches from one routine to another with ease, pausing to take a swipe at practices restricting or demeaning to women. “This is the big stuff we deal with every day,” the preacher tells us. “We will make noise,” is one of the final edicts. The audience don't need much encouragement where this is concerned – applause rings out all the way to the rafters.