Briefs: Bite Club

In 2017 I last saw Briefs in a Spiegeltent on the Southbank. Now the doors of Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall have opened themselves up to the Briefs Factory for the first time, and this is their first show in the UK post-pandemic. It is a welcome return for the boys on our small island here in the Northern Hemisphere.

On a mission to spread love and joy

For those of you who have never seen anything presented by Briefs Factory before - they are a group of cabaret performers who set upon the stage with circus tricks, burlesque, drag, dancing, comedy, music and theatre.

For their new show Briefs: Bite Club they have a beautiful new musical star as the linchpin. Her name is Sahara Beck and she has a stunning voice. She sings her own original songs throughout. Some uplifting pop numbers and some melancholic ballads with majestic vocals. Propped up by her band of three Sahara takes centre stage, leaving Shivanna (Faz Faanana) as host and the rest of the troop slightly lost in the grand theatre space of Southbank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Shivanna is a fantastic host, full of quips and does a great job in explaining the new trajectory Briefs Factory find themselves on following the events of the last few years. On a mission to spread love and joy in a world where so many people are doing the opposite can only be a good thing.

Unfortunately there were no programmes or cast lists so I am unable to name individual performers but all the acts were sensational. I particularly liked the aerial artist whose leg control was extraordinary. He was a new addition to the cast and one that certainly has a big future ahead of him. He only had one solo routine and I certainly wanted more.

There was a dancer and juggler who left nothing (and I mean nothing!) to the imagination during an incredible routine on the treadmill. Also there was a comedy cabaret dance performer who had the audience laughing throughout a very entertaining moment with his wig. The show stealing moment, however, goes to the co-creator of Briefs and former Las Vegas King of Burlesque, Mark ‘Captain Kidd’ Winmill for a breathtaking routine on a 'Dita von Teese' esque oversized glass of water, and a trapeze. Quite how he manages to perform those acrobatics while dripping wet is astonishing. Mark just had the one solo routine and it would have been great to see more from this performer in Bite Club.

Sadly this show simply felt as though there were a lot of routines missing, or cut, for various reasons. It was great to see an original singer lead the show but it did seem to me that it was to the detriment of the rest of the performers, who had to take a step back. It is always good to leave your audience wanting more, and I will certainly be back next time they are in town, but it did seem somewhat lacking compared to previous years.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by Christopher James

Queen Elizabeth Hall

Briefs: Bite Club

★★★
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A Letter to Harvey Milk - The Musical

★★★★
Southwark Playhouse

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★★★★★
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All That

★★★★
Shaftesbury Theatre

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★★★★★
Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Forever Plaid

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

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You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
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Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Brisbane’s cult cabaret mischief-makers, circus stars and heart-stopping hooligans Briefs Factory join forces with celebrated songbird Sahara Beck for an outrageous show.

In an event sautéed in a hedonistic haze, guests are treated to a shotgun wedding and table settings of music, circus, drag, burlesque, theatre and comedy.

Described as one of Australia’s most arresting performers, Sahara Beck is in possession of soaring vocals that blast female pride power into the ferociously fierce displays of talent from the Briefs boys you know and love.

Their slick tomfoolery and heart-stopping hooliganism is bathed in suave synth, heady hooks and swelling strings, all set to a glorious pop pulse.

Briefs Factory is an Australian creative collective that manufactures, cultivates and presents evocative, irreverent, physical performance.

Best known for their flagship project Briefs, the award-winning company’s work also includes Club Briefs, The Second Coming and Brat Kids Carnival. The collective also represents works developed by like-minded artists.

Inspired by circus, drag, dance, burlesque, music, comedy and the ever-changing world around them, Briefs Factory are dedicated to developing and touring their brand of award-winning, genre-defying, political party punk around the world.

Presented by Briefs Factory  

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