THE HONEY MAN
By Tyrone Huggins
Directed by Emma Bernard
The Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Monday 16th- Saturday 21st February at 8:00pm (Saturday Matinee 2:30pm) Touring
Runs: Two hours One Interval
Review: Khalid Daley
A jar full of sweetness.
When a Caribbean bee-keeper from Nevis meets the likes of a demanding teenager – whose father is the Lord of the Manor – what do you get? Something strange but utterly inspiring.
The Honey Man provides a beautiful story of two characters whose worlds intertwine into the most heart-warming relationship.
Beatrice Allen gives a fine performance as Misty. Although Allen sometimes lacks the feisty attitude that Misty seems to possess, the vulnerable quality she injects into the character in the second half is simply stunning. Tyrone Huggins gives an exceptionally sensitivity performance as the Honey Man; providing such charm and wit that his presence leaves you captivated.
The play, written by Huggins, focuses on an old West Indian man who dedicates his life to his bees, making honey of different kinds and growing plants for treatment in his cottage around the outskirts of England. But not having the necessities of electricity, he isn’t aware of the growing technological society outside. However, with the decrease of bee pollination it causes a problem to his dismay, especially when a lonesome teenager intrudes. And she’s in need of a real friend and a reality check.
The simplicity of the set, in the Rep’s studio, and the use of a projector showing animations of paintings and the beehive, are extremely effective – quite wonderful. Emma Bernard’s direction complements the subtle approach of the play.
It seems unclear towards the end of the play whether one of the Honey Man’s ancestors was a family friends to the Misty’s wealthy ancestors – or whether indeed the Honey Man was the family friend. But perhaps this is a mystery Huggins wishes to leave us with.
Tyrone Huggins: Honey Man
Beatrice Allen: Misty
Emma Bernard: Director
Timothy Bird: Designer
Joseph Roberts: Composer/Sound Design
Simon Bond: Lighting Designer
Judy Owen: Producer
Clive Meldrum: Sound Programmer
Alison Solomon: Casting Director
Suriya Roberts-Grey: Assistant Director
Sarah Blackstock: Assistant Producer
Steven Bryant: Assistant Digital Artist
Tomas Wright: Production Manager
Richard Balshaw: Company Stage Manager/Tour Production Manager
Nicola Redfern: Deputy Stage Manager
Sandra Field: Prop Making/Set Dressing
Katy Brooke: Additional Props
Lawrence Watson: Bee Animations
Steven Bryant and Timothy Bird: Additional Animations