HOT BROWN HONEY - FIERCE CABARET
Let me take you on a journey into political cabaret with fearless feminists Hot brown honey - it’s time to make noise.
But not just any old noise, noise filtered through the medium of performance entertainment, noise filtered through the indigenous and myelinated lens of colonised people, colonised women, who’ve quite frankly had enough.
Now feminism and politics might not be words you normally associate with cabaret, it’s more commonly known for its chintzy niche stage acts, sequins, feather boas and a healthy dose of comic timing. Hot Brown Honey’s show has all of that except hopefully it will also make you think.
Think about the continued oppression of women, especially brown women, particularly the unique oppression that occurs for colonised people as they dance and twirl mirroring your frustrations and dizzying confusion with the question “where are you from?” “no where are you really from?” said in a slow patronising Australian drawl.
A diminutive performer recklessly twirling her hula hoops, at least ten at my count, as she flails about the stage screaming at the locals to bring her more booze - Is a perfectly visceral yet playful way to demonstrate the disrespect some tourists display to natives while on their holidays, then you are probably one of those tourists and Hot Brown Honey are here to inform you of your racial micro-aggressions, through the medium of song dance and circus skills - Political Feminist and Racial Cabaret has landed.
What I loved was that each piece dealt with a different frustration, a different piece of the puzzle of oppression that WOC/Native have felt and experienced brought brilliantly to life in a dizzying spectacle of colour, dance and song. To say that it was emotional is to down play the impact. WOC are tired, tired of having to explain why it’s not ok to touch our hair, question our nationality and appropriate our culture for the “gram” to have all our daily struggles crystallised on stage felt like a huge relief and outpouring of anger but in a delightfully positive way
It’s a sign of the times to see this cabaret on such an (culturally) important platform as the Southbank, conversations about race and intersectional feminism are starting to occupy ‘respectable spaces’ and it’s a joy to see this cabaret not relegated to an underground venue. It’s important these messages reach the white middle and upper classes in a non preachy way. Because at the end of the day, Hot Brown Honey is also entertainment, it’s loud, thoughtful and colourful and it’s exactly the type of edutainment that’s needed.
So in the words of Hot Brown Honey - it’s time to make noise
Nnendi Okorafor has been going from strength to strength, she first came up on my radar with her brilliant short novel 'Binti' - a tale of interstellar education and conflict that caught the attention of Neil Gaiman and the sci-fi crowd. Now she has been offered the chance to tell the story of one of the most loved characters in Black Panther, that of his sister Shuri.
Not only will she be writing the tale of Shuri, but one of her books 'Who Fears Death' is due to be adapted for television by HBO! 'Who Fears Death' is a set in a post apocalyptic Africa, where tribes continue to battle each other for dominance and resources.
Now I don't know about you, but I am excited for both of these offerings as Nnendi's writing and imagination are on point and I can't wait to see how they turn out.