Briefs

“Politics doesn’t have to be dull. Throw some glitter on it, people,’’ says Fez Fa’anana, the host/hostess of Briefs. There aren’t a whole heap of words in this shiny, funny, high-energy boylesque Aussie spectacular, but those ones made me think.

I have seen 80-year-old ladies whooping with delight, lesbian couples howling with laughter and gay men getting hot and flustered. You might not think this show will be your kind of thing, but believe me, it is

The Briefs boys may strip down to their gleaming white Calvin Kleins – and further – in fact there are bare bottoms galore. But everything is done with fierce self-possession, jaw dropping skill and scintillating style. This over the top celebration of the male physique, set to a brilliant musical backing track is ridiculous, silly, camp and slapstick whilst never losing its dignity and beauty.

Objectify these magnificent male specimens if you wish – but only because they let you do so. And don’t even think about getting judgmental. In this fast moving, boundary-pushing show where one taboo-busting surprise follows another – you hardly have time to catch your breath. Whatever preconceptions you may have will be blown out of the water by the end of the night.

For the audience it is a liberating, life-affirming experience. At Briefs shows I have seen 80-year-old ladies whooping with delight, lesbian couples howling with laughter and gay men getting hot and flustered. You might not think this show will be your kind of thing, but believe me, it is.

Since it began touring the world Briefs, which began as a club night in the back of an alternative bookshop in Brisbane, has become an international hit, and has wowed audiences in Berlin, New York and at festivals around the world.

The show is hosted by Fez Fa’anana, aka trashy gold coast diva Shivannah, who whoops up the crowd as she slinks around, chewing gum, throwing shapes, doing magic tricks and exuding attitude from beneath her gigantic false eyelashes. Former burlesque champion Mark ‘Captain Kidd’ Winmill is another stalwart, flexing his muscles, moving beautifully and shimmering in his hot and sexy hoop routine. Muscular, hairy, funny slapstick and endless jokes about bananas come courtesy of Evil Hate Monkey - a boylesque superstar of a different species - animalistic, unreasonable, crazy and scarily strong. Stunningly cute perpetual schoolboy Louis Biggs who has been part of the show for a couple of years shows off some awesome physical skills, not to mention an outrageously flirtatious manner.

For the Brighton incarnation of the show, Briefs have brought dancing butler Lachy Shelley, dancer James Welsby and brilliant aerialist Thomas Worrell who performs breathtaking routines above the heads of the crowd.

On their first night at Republic on Brighton beach the Briefs crew were hit with some technical issues, including a full power cut in the most complex high-energy routine of the night. But once the backing track had been restored the performers sprung back into action in all their mind-bending glory, full of energy, caked in glitter, with attitude undimmed.

As Emma Goldman said: “If I can’t dance it’s not my revolution.”

Reviews by Claire Smith

Soho Theatre

Hans Teeuwen: Real Rancour

★★★★
Brighton Spiegeltent

Meow Meow

★★★★
Republic

Briefs

★★★★★
Multiple Venues

Simon Munnery: And Nothing But

★★★★
Leicester Square Theatre

Margaret Cho: The Psycho Tour

★★★★
Otherplace at the Basement: The Pit

Alexis Dubus: Cars and Girls

★★★★

Since you’re here…

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

After dazzling, sell-out runs all over the world including Hong Kong, London, Berlin and Paris, the larger-than-life Briefs boys come to Brighton. Your glamorous host Shivannah guides you through a jaw-dropping, eye-popping evening of boylesque, comedy and acrobatics. It's burlesque... with balls. www.briefsfactory.com

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