Browse reviews

Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Bee Master

Blue Fire Theatre Company

Genre: Solo Performance, Solo Show, Theatre

Venue: theSpaceUK on the Mile


Low Down

“Good Heavens! Brother Barnabus has found himself in a sticky situation! Join him in this one man show. It’s storytelling with a philosophical twist, some interesting bee-related facts. And some awful jokes. To bee or not to bee…’


Fifty minutes in the company of Brother Barnabus, discoverer of, and lover of bees, this is a monologue that muses on the simpler things in life, the best teacher of us all that is Nature herself, the role of God and the challenges of being human.

Taking the form of a guided tour and talk as we visit a very old monastery, brother Barnabus, our well informed and somewhat wise host is a genial and thankfully human guide with an occasional admonishing quip. Simple staging, a brightly lit stage, lend a positive air to this informative show that sometimes borders on edutainment.

Barnabus is an effective, well inhabited character in this piece, and a little more exposition of our guide would have added some depth to the proceedings. That said, this is, at its core, a talk about bees from a master of his craft. The well-researched script ensures explanation is both interesting and clear and the link to higher themes such as the Creator is not overdone nor too polemical. Perhaps we are God’s bees here on earth? When each plays its role to simple perfection, the hive yields life-enhancing honey. Pantheism runs through the script and the audience leans in. It is only when there it too much information in the script that the pace slows a little too much. There is a fine balance to be struck here between educating and entertaining us.

Overall, this is an endearing hour. The performer holds our attention, the humour is light and occasionally cutting without ever being cruel. Our monk is a gritty soul deeper down and it is clear he has lived a good bit of life before becoming a monk. he certain is streetwise enough to be relatable. He has a charming quality and a nod and a wink ensures the potential seriousness of the process of bees and their ultimate vital role on our planet never becomes too dense or serious.

I enjoyed my time in the company of Barnabus, went out knowing a lot more about bees than I did when I entered the theatre. an infectious smile, an eloquent, witty script, and some philosophical texture make this a recommended show at the Fringe.