A fabulous hive full of women of colour take centre stage this week at Melbourne's Arts Centre, and you'd better sort out some time to get there. They're irreverent, loud and unapologetic while riffing about racism, privilege and the patriarchy in their trademark high octane style. It's a blink and you miss it season that's politically charged, while being equal parts hilarious and sobering.
A series of acts showcasing the many talents of the women that comprise the company, Hot Brown Honey is cabaret meets burlesque meets circus, hip hop and then some. Watched over dutifully by Kim "Busty Beatz" Bowers the show commences behind a sea of yellow feathers and progresses on through a whirlwind tour that includes a hilarious (and apt) take on Australians in Bali, land rights (always was, always will be), beatboxing, audience participation, the male gaze, strip tease, a tip on how best to use a leaf blower, and a soul breaking look at the domestic violence epidemic.
While there are moments of tear inducing laughter, it's not always easy going. And neither should it be. These women set the terms in this space, and they want you to join them – but they don't give the audience a free pass. There are important messages embedded in the show and it's education and enjoyment through art and analysis. It's work that doesn't dumb itself down; it acknowledges the intelligence of its' audience, and works to engage that.
Sometimes with awesome glitter bombs.
Hot Brown Honey are forging new territory in our arts landscape, and they're doing it in a highly intelligent and engaging way. This show is an important call to arms that's also a guaranteed great night with an audience that, by the end, are laughing together. Watching strangers talking to each other about the show as they exited the space on opening night speaks volumes about what this company, and this show, invoke. They're a beautiful bevy of strong, talented women and if you're missing them, you're missing out.
Also, make sure you have money for the raffle. You're supporting these working mothers, and the prize is well worth it.
Arts Centre Melbourne in association with Briefs Factory presents
Hot Brown Honey
Venue: Fairfax Studio - Arts Centre Melbourne
Dates: 6 – 11 December, 2016