Honey's Happening @ Greenside, Infirmary Street

What occurs at Honey’s Happening is meant to happen, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be surprised

Review by Caitlin A. Kearney | 24 Aug 2018

It’s 1968 and Honey Childs does not need to know the ins and outs of what a Happening actually is in order to achieve her dream of hosting one in her front room in Grange Park. Her open-minded daughter Barbara has clear reservations about this sanitised version of the concept, but she too is there to make us feel at home with cheese and pineapple skewers and brightly coloured cups of Hawaiian Surprise.

This is a great example of immersive theatre that comes without that feeling of being so intimidated by the participatory aspect that you end up not enjoying yourself. Our generous and warm hosts put aside some important discussions they’re clearly not having to lead us all in party games and dancing until they realise that we’re from 2018. This revelation leads them off on two different paths; Honey powering ahead with the carefully laid plans for her gathering, Barbara fighting to make the most of having an insight into the future – is there hope? She must know. Before long, mother and daughter must face each of their own uncertainties head on, and simultaneously face each other.

Honey’s Happening twists and turns in ways that a seemingly innocent work like this is not initially anticipated to, going deeper than expected. Ultimately, the show serves to remind us that we have more in common than not, and that the very best thing we can do is simply support each other.

It really doesn’t matter whether you’re hip, square, or way out there; Honey’s Happening is as feel-good as quality theatre gets, and sometimes this old world is allowed to just feel good without being self-conscious.

Honey’s HappeningGreenside @ Infirmary Street (Ivy Studio), until 25 Aug, £9-11

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