Monday, December 03, 2007

The Bee: A Seven Minute Review

As it appears in The Drum.


My new favourite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon is to wander solo through the streets of Kings Cross to Darlinghurst Theatre. I like the mottled afternoon light on the leafy trees and the motley collection of humanity now chilled after a frenzied Saturday night’s debauchery. It puts me in a chilled state of mind.

And chilled I was as I took my seat last Sunday to see The Bee (and not just because that air-conditioning is always too cold). Lights went down and suddenly I was being startled and astonished and pretty amused by what was taking place on stage. After the normality of the world outside, The Bee plugs you back in and zaps you with a few thousand volts of Weird. And it’s good shit, man.

Based on a Japanese story by Yasutaka Tsutsui and written by Hidek Noda and Colin Teevan, The Bee follows the plight of a businessman who returns home to find his family held hostage by an escaped murderer. It seems one of the writers holds the media while the other puts the boot in, and this bit of satire is deliciously absurd and pretty spot-on.

I won’t spoil it for you other than to say the story turns unexpectedly until the whole things is a darkly amusing parable about brinkmanship and what a bunch of total numb-nuts you humans really are. The premise is amusing and ultimately so simple that it has to be kept short to avoid repetition – and the point it is making is undeniably true.

The performances are stylised to perfection and with subtle changes in sound and lighting you are occasionally dropped into real life anime. Very clever and a lot of fun.

At Darlinghurst Theatre, Potts Point until 15 December.


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