Me and My Bee

★★
theatre review | Read in About 2 minutes
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Me and My Bee
Published 14 Aug 2017

It's not that this isn't a well-meaning or intermittently fun production. A "political party disguised as a party party disguised as a show", it's in essence a lecture on the importance of bees, wrapped up in a self-consciously ropey lecture, with some party elements thrown in for energy. But the only level on which this is really successful is on the importance of bees. Which is fine in itself. But, really, none of the families coming to this show are likely to have any doubts around the bee question. And if they do happen to buzz in by accident, this just isn't going to be the call to action it hopes to be.

Did you know it takes 60,000 bees to make a jar of honey? Me neither. Good fact. But honey is a side issue. Did you know that the work of bees contributes the equivalent of £510 million to the UK economy? Either this is aimed at kids, in which case arguments about the economy really aren't the way to make an impression, however much the energetic trio of Josie Dale-Jones, Joe Boylan and Greta Mitchell try to wrap it up in silly faux-seriousness. Or it's aimed at adults, in which case the silly faux-seriousness really bugs.

There are some nice moments, especially a running visual gag about saving the world. The opening sequence introducing the characters and the "party" sets an intriguing spikey tone. But this doesn't really go anywhere as the substance of the lecture starts to occupy the hive. It would be asking a lot to maintain the party atmosphere through this. It all builds to a sung peroration: "Pollination for the nation. Save the bees; save the world". Which, really, lacks sting.