Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Bee

Verdict: Worth a look
Where: Soho theatre
When: 24 January – 11 February 2012

The Bee revolves around a mild mannered businessman named Edo who comes home to find his wife and child being held hostage by an escaped convict.  Rather than playing the victim, Edo decides to take matters into his own hands and reciprocates by taking the convict’s wife and child hostage.  The tit for tat exchange then escalates and we get to witness Edo’s descent into barbarism.

The four actors do a brilliant job of conveying the many characters in this production and the use of props is ingenious, henceforth the sound of a pencil snapping will make me wince.   The only perplexing casting decision is why they chose to have a woman play the lead male and a man play the lead female.  It’s understandable that a woman could convey the meekness of the normally law-abiding businessman but it’s difficult to appreciate the vulnerability of the female lead when she’s played by a man that towers over Edo.

The actors do a brilliant job playing both the light-hearted and intense roles that they are required to convey, but the switch from light to dark is a jarring process and you can’t help but wonder if the play would have been more engaging if they had either played it straight or for laughs.

Overall the Bee has brilliant moments and the cast are excellent, but the script and direction seem muddled and unsure of how to re-tell this story of power and revenge.

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