• Amy Toledano

Honeybee presented by Eleanor Dillion-Reams

Image courtesy of Rah Petherbridge

What is it? 

A one woman show created and performed by Eleanor Dillon-Reams, combining spoken-word, physical theatre, tonnes of glitter, and a festival soundtrack that pulsates throughout.

What is it about?

Kate, a twenty-something living in London, heads to a festival for a big weekend with her group of mates.

Amongst these friends is her best-mate Niall (most people say they are like Ross and Rachel but they think they are more Harry and Hermione) and his girlfriend Melissa. Melissa is the ultimate cool girl, effortlessly beautiful and thin, kind and generous and totally likeable (which is the worst part). Drawn to her glow, and the glow of so many other women, Kate becomes like a honey bee, buzzing around these women as if they are the most beautiful flowers calling her name.

As the festival ramps up and the various substances Kate has ingested begin to take hold of her, so too does the intensity of her emotions and truths about herself are revealed, manifesting themselves until it is too late and all feels too far gone.

How did it make me feel?

Funny, warm and incredibly engaging, Dillon-Reams is a master storyteller. The weaving and lyrical storyline is engaging and reveals so much in the lies that she is forever telling herself.

The representation of female friendship is nuanced and authentic, and makes Kate ever more relatable, despite the obvious difficulties with her choices.

Dillon-Reams' performance is excellent. She owns the space from the moment she enters, and her pace and energy are spot on. Direction by Jess Tucker-Boyd is also very clever, and the use of physical theatre often juxtaposing with stark lighting and confessions from Kate, create a brilliant and entertaining atmosphere.

The piece draws to an emotional close, with a beautiful poem that is inclusive and poignant, and brings the room together in a very special way.

Anything Else?

A troubled young woman making poor life decisions sounds like a familiar troupe but Honeybee pushes so hard against these expectations, and sets itself apart from cliche's and what we would expect to see in a show of this nature. It is unique, effortlessly funny and deeply moving.

Amy x

Honeybee is playing at The Pleasance Theatre until the 3rd November 2019.

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