Briefs: Close Encounters

I was lucky enough to be in the audience when Briefs made their Fringe debut at the Gilded Balloon back in 2011. The show was fresh, new and utterly original. The company was so small and broke that they held a raffle during the show to try and recoup some of the expense of shipping themselves over to the UK. Now, seven years later, Briefs: Close Encounters is a drag, cabaret and circus phenomenon with sell out shows across the globe yet they’ve still got the raffle.

Inclusion at its best; fighting the good fight with sparkles, feathers and glitter bombs

Hosted by the stunning and hilarious Shivannah, the alter-ego (with an emphasis on the ego) of Briefs Artistic Director, Fez Faanana, this show presents the cast as the cabin crew of a spaceship from the future, come to inspire hope in these dark times. The audience is packed out with couples, singles, hen- ights and folk of all shapes, sizes and persuasions and that’s exactly how Shivannah wants it. This is inclusion at its best; fighting the good fight with sparkles, feathers and glitter bombs.

The long serving cast members are joined by a few new faces, with particular highlights being an excellent protest-cum-performance art piece from Thomas Gundry Greenfield. Also of note is an amazing aerial cage routine performed effortlessly by Thomas Worrell. It’s also worth watching out for Dale Woodbridge-Brown’s mischievous white rabbit.

With global success, massive audiences and two other fantastic productions under the Briefs Factory brand at this year’s Fringe, it would be easy for Briefs to do some well-deserved laurel-resting. For them to present such an excellent show that is, in places, unashamedly political is nothing short of inspiring. Briefs: Close Encounters gives me hope that the future is bright.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Briefs are back with a brand-new show. They've come from the future to test the limits of masculinity and decency with their iconic brand of circus, drag, burlesque and comedy. Expect interstellar aerials, incredible artistry, sharp social commentary and warp-speed strippers from outer space. Prepare yourselves for a close encounter. 'Spectacular' ***** (Time Out). 'Raunchy. Ridiculous. Raucous. Remarkable' ***** (Gay Times). 'Political, edgy, and high camp, Close Encounters is circus boylesque at its most radical, at its most political, and its most entertaining. Not to be missed!' ***** (ArtsHub.com.au).

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