‘QUEEN BEE’ – Diagnosing Hive Death

By Ernest Kearney — The folks behind Queen Bee were among the first I engaged with when plowing the collective crowds at the Office Hours. I found them engaging, and was immediately intrigued by their show’s concept; a parody of British author William Golding’s bleak 1955 novel Lord of the Flies.

I had high hopes. Hopes were dashed.

Not that the cast was lacking talent. But talent without structure, guidance and purpose is about as useless as a white crayon.

The thing about “concepts” is that if they’re strong, it doesn’t really matter how outlandish or inane they may be. If they’re committed to they’ll generally work.  This is true of comedy (League of Gentlemen) and drama (most of the Shakespeare Retold series.) 

Queen Bee moves off their very strong concept very quickly, which needn’t have proved disastrous if they had had any idea of where they were going. 

The show needed a producer who, if nothing else, would have explained to the playwright her work was far from done and that 90 minutes is 89 minutes too long if your intended theme lacks clarity and a director would have, definitely, helped even if they brought nothing more to the production other than telling the cast they needed to “share their voices.[1]

There are some moments in Queen Bee, such as a slo-mo girl fight sequence, that hints at what the show could have been if serious work and hard thought had been applied to it, but it wasn’t.

One of the great values of the Fringe is it gives creative individuals the invaluable opportunity to fail and learn.  The folks behind Queen Bee have finished the hard part of that course let’s see how they do in the second half.

[1] It is staggering to me the number of times at the Fringe when sitting in the third row of the Stephanie Feury Theatre I am unable to hear the performers…


Queen Bee

Playing During The Hollywood Fringe Festival 2024


Eastwood Performing Arts Center (Main Space)

1089 N Oxford Ave


Saturday June 29 2024, 8:30 PM | 90 mins

For Tickets and Additional Information Go To: www.hollywoodfringe.org


Ernest Kearney - author
Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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