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BRIGHTON FRINGE: Last Hive – The Warren: The Nest

By: Undercover Theatre Company

Reviewer: Simon Topping

Last Hive is a clowning piece about the world of the honeybee. Written and performed by the Undercover Theatre Company, aka David Tann and Karen Houge, it is an Anglo-Norwegian produced comedy about the destruction of habitat and the fightback of the bee against their human oppressors, or so the audience are lead to believe. What follows is a garbled and confusing interpretation of the synopsis by two very likeable and funny people.

All David the drone bee, played by Tann, wants is to sleep with the Queen, played by Houge. He is waiting for the moment, he has been waiting for all his life. However, his attentions are thwarted by the Queen but she guarantees she will capitulate if he goes on a mission for her to find the mythical white bee to save their hive and destroy humankind (or the no wings as they are known) in order to save the existence of the last hive.

Tann as the drone dressed in a red jacket is striking to watch. His facial expressions are very comical and any physical interaction between Houge and Tann is fabulously funny and delightfully silly. Tann and Houge are both graduates of the prestigious Philippe Gaulier school of theatre and clowning and show off what they have learnt to perfection.

Pointing out when the show goes wrong or when Houge, who is Norwegian, cannot pronounce English words correctly, is a strong point of the piece; the crowd revel in this silliness. Both performers are strong improvisers and physical fools of the highest order. Sadly, the show falls down in the lack of story, plot and cohesion; the Clowning and silliness is just not enough to carry a one hour show.

While there are some lovely visuals created on an old fashioned acetate projector and interjections from Greg the technician are fun, ultimately the audience forgives a lot because of the sheer likeability of the duo and in the end, we leave wondering what the hell just happened!

Reviewed on 5th May | Image: Contributed

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