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Hive City Legacy review: Full of raucous joy

Dublin Fringe Festival 2022: Women of colour ask ‘How Irish are you?’

Hive City Legacy

Project Arts Centre, Space Upstairs

“Pollinate. Activate. Liberate.” This is the motto of the Australian arts activists Hot Brown Honey, who infuse hip-hop beats with political banter in a bid to challenge racial stereotype and prejudice. Hive City Legacy is a performance from their Dublin Chapter, a group of women of colour who call Ireland their home (or their “green prison”). The performers were recruited through Dublin Fringe Festival’s Weft programme, designed to support early-career black artists in Ireland, and as such there is a sense of movement rather than completion to the performance, which blends live vocals with recorded soundtracks.

Directed by the original Honey, Lisa Fa’alafi, and her musical collaborator Busty Beatz’, the production is heavy on the gestural (in particular the one-fingered salute) and full of raucous joy. Designer Lian Bell provides a mobile cellular set up that keeps the performers physically engaged throughout, while SJ Shiels’s lights contribute colour, beauty and urgency. If, artistically, the performance hasn’t yet peaked, it illustrates that the hive is thriving and sweet honey is on the way.

Runs at Project Arts Centre, Dublin 2, until Saturday, September 17th, as part of Dublin Fringe Festival

Sara Keating

Sara Keating

Sara Keating, a contributor to The Irish Times, is an arts and features writer