Days of our Hives by Alanta Colley
“It’s an interesting way to meet your neighbours,” admits Alanta Colley towards the end of Days of Our Hives – her charming new stand-up science show about life as an urban beekeeper.
She’s talking about the first time her backyard bees swarmed, splitting their colony in half to continue reproducing – but as a result, her 25,000 bees went missing somewhere in her suburb, forcing the comedian into an unusual street-wide doorknock.
The story of the bees’ eventual return is just one of many Alanta shares in this quirky, sweet and original show. A blend of stand-up, storytelling and science communication, Days of Our Hives is charming, funny, and will teach you something new – about bees, yes, but also – about yourself.
FRINGE WORLD marks the West Australian premiere of Days of Our Hives and Melbourne-based Alanta’s second trip west. While a few Melbourne-centric anecdotes and some jokes pitched for a younger crowd didn’t quite stick with our largely middle-aged Perth audience on opening night, Alanta is a bubbly, entertaining, relatable performer who seemed thrilled to be up onstage, and we were having fun with her.
Alanta shines as a storyteller.
The strongest points of Days of Our Hives are when she’s telling tragicomedy stories about her sharehouse life in Melbourne’s inner-north suburbs – from nonna neighbours to daytime drinking to those escaped bees, these are stories and characters lit up for Mount Lawley locals.
Her puns and gags didn’t stick quite as well for me – but then, I probably should have expected a bit of this, attending a show with a pun in its name. Bee (ahem) warned.
Days of Our Hives is a sweet, thoughtful show that will make you laugh, make you think, teach you about bees, and reflect on yourself as you move about your suburb. It’s ostensibly a show about beekeeping, but it’s also a show about friendship, community, inter-dependence and connection. And it’s probably going to make you want to be a beekeeper.