Hot Brown Honey, who have been raising the roof and winning rave reviews at packed houses on the Australian festival circuit, have been brought to Edinburgh in conjunction with the incorrigible Briefs Factory.
Hot Brown Honey is comprised of women of Indigenous, Pacific Islander and Indonesian heritage taking on colonialism, sexism, gender stereotypes and racism through confronting performance and humour; their tagline is ‘fighting the power never tasted so sweet’. This show certainly packs a potent punch of hip-hop politics, serving up dance, poetry, comedy, circus, striptease and song.
Hot Brown Honey, created by Samoan dancer and choreographer Lisa Fa’alafi, Circus Oz’s Candy B and producer and composer Kim “Busty Beatz” Bowers was devised as a performance platform for women of colour. Six empowered women teach us about society, culture and smashing the patriarchy. This show stands for feminism and empowerment of women of colour in all areas of society, including theatre.
Set in a dazzling beehive set with lighting, music and extravagant costumes to rival Shivannna in Briefs, there’s no doubting the ‘burlesque with balls’ team has had a hand in sprinkling some of the Briefs magic on this piece.
Expect a range of cabaret routines woven together including an Adidas striptease, to some impressive beat-boxing and a particularly moving aerial straps piece, which is an anaology for domestic abuse. There’s even references to ‘Golliwogs’, a racist reference that may well go over the heads of many of the younger audience, but it stands to explain the racial and gender stereotyping these ladies are fighting.
It’s a powerful piece but some of the strong messages and cultural struggles may well be lost on a predominantly, white, British audience but there’s no doubting the commentary, which will challenge your perceptions of gender, colour and privilege in an hour of raucous, fast-paced performance.