Red Stitch Theatre performs ‘The Honey Bees’

Did you know that the world honey bees are dying out? I had heard about it previously on the radio, but I didn’t realize how large an impact that the dying out of an insect actually has on families, businesses, and communities.

Red Stitch brings a international and domestic problem to light through ‘The Honey Bees‘.

The pastime of beekeeping is much more complicated than one may think. You must have hives, you must have flowers, and you must ensure that the bees are giving honey to their queen. This is all the more problematic when your family is invested in the honey business. The loss of honey bees signals the breaking down of a family. There is nothing that can stop this family being torn apart.

Red Stitch Theatre - The Honey Bees

Siblings Clo (Rebecca Bower) and Darly (Christopher Brown) are from two different worlds. However, they share the same struggle: how to escape the drama of the family business without abandoning their mother. Everyone is driven by their own agendas and this ends in absolute disaster. The smoke from burnt honey bees creates a heartbreaking picture. The ending is not a happy one, but perhaps satisfying as the young are finally able to cut their ties.

My favorite part of the show was the dry arid set designed by Sophie Woodward. She encapsulates a desolate wasteland of Western Australia through the red coloured soil and dry timber hives. The smell of wax and honey was also an immersive experience for audience members entering the theatre.

‘The Honey Bees’ was a wonderful performance. As the play begins its downward spiral of misfortune after misfortune, it raises the real question – can we stop the bees from dying?

This made for a great conversation with my two Uber drivers of the evening. One who was from America and knew about this issue in her homeland, and another driver from Australia who thought I was crazy talking about honey bees dying.

I guess you can’t always win in conversations with Uber drivers. However, seeing ‘The Honey Bees’ brings everyone one step closer to building a solution to save our winged little friends.

 – Amber
Amber B. is a freelance stage manager who is excited to keep you up to date with Melbourne’s best theatre.

‘The Honey Bees’ runs from June 14 – July 16 at Red Stitch Actors Theatre (Rear, 2 Chapel Street, St Kilda East). Book tickets now.

For more information on bees, visit Save the Bees at

Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of Red Stitch Actors Theatre.
Photo credit: Jodie Hutchinson.