- Gareth K Vile
- 25 August 2019
Solo show that lacks sparkle
Sarah McCardie's solo performance aside – she plays multiple roles, from the titular mother and journalist through her mother and daughter – it's hard to find much to admire in Honey. A generic study of mother-daughter relationships, with Honey the only character developed in the script beyond lazy caricature, it rambles through a complex contemporary family history before climaxing with a near-death revelation which resolves years of maternal indifference.
McCardie copes with the script's flimsy premise elegantly: Honey is full of fun, fire and frustration, but her struggles are too familiar to engage. Comparing herself to her friends, longing for the approval of her disdainful mother, coping with her baby-daddy's lifestyles: there is little dramatic in her routine, and the intrusion of a psychotherapist urging her to do the show and address her problems is a clumsy technique to advance the action. Honey is charming enough, despite her rough edges, to win sympathy but the sudden illness of her mother is another lurch in mood that can't inject emotional weight.
The limited dramaturgy – Honey chalks up names on a board, more to keep the relationships clear than add a layer to the monologue – and constant switching of character keep the focus on McCardie, and it operates as an audition piece for a remarkable performer. Formally predictable and lacking impact, Honey is a disappointingly predictable production.
ZOO Playground, run ended.