Like Bees And Honey (Pretty Little Liars) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By Adam Collier

Like Bees And Honey is playing at the Tarragon Mainspace as part of Fringe in Toronto. A company named Pretty Little Liars is producing the show.

When the stage lights rise we see a couple sleeping together. One half of this couple is drooling over the chest of the other.

A woman enters, and she turns on a television. We hear the local news announce that the body of a murdered man has been discovered in the vicinity.

A few moments later two cops (Officer Robinson played by Katie Odegaard and Officer Boyd played by Phil Borg) enter. They have a search warrant. So the man of that couple (Gary ) earlier swooning on the couch, and Officer Robinson exit to execute a search of the property.

Officer Boyd is left to the devices of three women – including the first two women we see onstage – that want to jump his bones.

To this end, the female cast members (that includes Sarah Williamson, Ashley Magwood, and Neale Kimmel) were more than merely physically provocative (striking some lascivious poses). They seemed to genuinely seduce.

I thought there was a sleek choreography to the sequence between the women and Officer Boyd that might owe a lot to the direction of Glen Gaston.

The determination of the women provokes wrath from Gary (having returned from the search). And Like Bees And Honey becomes very violent near the end (the word ‘very’ seems appropriate, because the action includes breaking bones, pistol-whipping, hair-pulling, choking and two stabbings).

As far I could tell, the audience seemed nonplussed. Showing little reaction to the sensuality or violence of the performance.

To be fair, I didn’t show any outward reaction either. But I did feel sick to my stomach. (The result of seeing violence.)

Before the show, I happened to meet the playwright (Neale Kimmel, so I asked about the title. Where does ‘Like Bees And Honey’ come from?

In her answer Ms. Kimmel mentioned that in her play there are bee-like characters. There is a drone bee for example, she said. And the behaviour of the characters was inspired by that of bees in a beehive.

That might explain the element of “smoke” (from a fog machine), and the buzzing sound-effect as the lights come-up. True to bee nature, smoke provokes a reaction. It might also shed light on the use of males as drones in the plot.

All and all, Like Bees And Honey is strong enough as a production to deserve a recommendation to go.

Details (Please note, the wrong times were listed initially, but they have been corrected. Sorry for the error)

Like Bees And Honey is playing at the Tarragon Mainspace. The Tarragon is located at 30 Bridgeman Avenue (North of Dupont, East of Bathurst)

Venue 1 Tarragon Theatre Mainspace

60 min.
Fri, July 2 5:15 PM – 109
Sat, July 3 7:30 PM – 117
Mon, July 5 1:00 PM – 126
Wed, July 7 2:15 PM – 139
Thu, July 8 11:30 PM – 151
Fri, July 9 Noon – 152
Sat, July 10 6:15 PM – 162