Arts Review: Hive: the New Bees 3 June 12 – 14 @ Chapel Arts


Hive: the New Bees 3 is the third instalment of a performance series that began in 2009 at the Vancouver Fringe Festival. Inspired by the popular “HIVE” series produced by the Progress Lab, the event was originally created to foster newpartnerships between emerging theatre artists. For a second time, Resounding Scream Theatre has helmed the event, and while the gathering was delightful yet again, it lacked the daring and quirky humour of Hive: the New Bees 2.

The last night is tonight, June 14.

I visited the Hive only briefly this year, so I missed many of the shows: so keep this in mind regarding my humble opinion. And as a format, it is still highly interesting and effective in introducing new theatre goers to new theatre makers. Unfortunately, there was a lack of danger and intensity to these works, a high proportion of which featured women in their underwear. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but using underwear to imply intimacy – or steampunk to imply oddity or anachronism – is a surprising lack of newness.

For example, a story told while being tattooed was meant, I’m sure, as an exercise in endurance and metaphor; and the tattoo was beautiful. But the story was not original and thus all the weight lay in the performance. Alas, it couldn’t be heard or felt above the drone.

The steampunk wonder machine helmet was most likely the most intriguing, except for a masked man from whom I didn’t have the requisite 10 mins to participate in his experiments. And a heard tell of a tour outside that participants refused to spoil, meaning it was probably an experience worth having.

Hive: the New Bees is worth a chance as event and format; so far in the run it is without a full realization. There was a lack of polish – or edge – to this years event, though the enthusiasm was evident. I so thoroughly enjoyed last year that I will keep Hive: the New Bees buzzing in my heart until next year where hopefully things will be sweeter.

Participating groups in 2013:

  1. Resounding Scream Theatre                                          2. rice & beans theatre
  3. workingclasstheatre                                                          4. Tyler Smith
  5. Psyche Theatre                                                                 6. Escaping Goat Productions
  7. The Troika Collective                                                       8. F29
  9. Human Theatre Collective                                             10. Delinquent Theatre
11. Hong Kong Exile