The Silence Of Bees @ Lush
Spanning three generations of one family, The Silence Of Bees, written and directed by critically-acclaimed playwright Stef Smith, is a site-specific production held in the soapy confines of the Lush store in Sauchiehall Street.
It is an appropriate setting, given the focus on evocative aromas (peppermint, rose, engine oil and tobacco) significant to the development of each individual character. The stoicism of women in tough times endures through the decades, starting with grandmother Ginny (Joanna Tope) who refuses the limiting role of housewife, drawn instead to the occupation of honey-making.
Inheritance, loss and memories waft through the shop, as impermanent as scent, as one by one the women leave – first Ginny by passing away, then the brittle mother Joan (Lesley Hart) by walking out on her daughter (and out of the shop itself) and lastly the young woman herself at the centre, Katie (Kirsty Stewart) who is left alone and vulnerable with the dwindling business on account of the declining bee population. Ginny wishes everything in life was as simple as honey. Katie would like some answers to family secrets. Joan just wants to be held.
Melancholic and imaginative, poignant and thought-provoking, The Silence Of Bees is a feminist story with strong female performances all round, characters who you care for, at the core 'sweet and bitter... like Royal Jelly.'