Review: ★★★ Hive City Legacy, The Roundhouse

Hive City Legacy at the Roundhouse is a complete mixture of genre and styles – but every single aspect is brilliant. It’s told by females of colour and is about the idea of femme, especially through a woman of colour’s perspective. It is portrayed through loads of different types of performance: music, aerial, rap and dance.

This isn’t really a piece of theatre as much as a mix of different types of performance art. The story line is minimal, the focus is more a comment on England and its look on ‘strangers’. There is a running joke about tourism and the underlying social commentary on being foreign and how English people stereotypically perceive them. The young artists in the show make some very valid and funny jokes in return, in particular the perfectly timed England football joke. It seems like they try to keep a story line throughout with one girl exploring this ‘new’ world and trying to fit in, but with all the different inputs of performance, it is hard to follow and fully comprehend the idea behind it.

The performers were the epitome of strong, independent femmes and the audience is here for their mesmerising personalities. It is evident though that not all of them are as comfortable performing, which brought some of the group dances down a little bit as energy levels differed massively. As well, the room was full of friends and family and it was actually difficult hearing anything for the cheering on certain performers. Each of the 8 girls has a skill they bring to the show and they each get a moment to shine. The aerialists are without a doubt the most impressive and gasping performers and they actually manage to get a point across about supporting each other as women of colour. That is the main message to come across in the show and it is lovely how they encourage everyone in the room to do the same. The show ends with a group dance with everyone in the room and it is the most high a performance has ever ended on.

The metaphor with hives the show is named after makes sense with the message they are trying to get across: activate, pollinate, liberate the change. They almost try too hard getting the bee references across, when actually the best parts of the shows are their own commentaries. The show is fun and relatable for most young feminists, but don’t go and expect a story or a piece of theatre. As several, smaller, less coherent performances, Hive City Legacy is great. They also have several other events planned alongside it, such as Q&As and live music.

Yasmin Simsek

Emma Betty
Emma Betty

Emma Betty is 25 and a nurse in Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Emma has the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary Soundtrack (On CD!) to blame for her love for Musical Theatre, which she found in her parents living room pretty much as soon as she was old enough to know what it was. She began combining her love for Theatre, the Internet and Writing while she was still at school, through various blogs and on social media. Having moved to London in 2013, she launched Upper Circle 4 years later. A couple of years on, she is delighted to have a small team and is so grateful to those helping Upper Circle to grow every day!

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