Briefs: all male, all vaudeville, all trash
The self-confessed “Burlesque with Balls”, Briefs is made up of a handful of Antipodeans, mixing dance, acrobats, comedy, and many more forms of entertainment into an optical and auditory feast. Since they began four years ago, rehearsing in the not-so-glamorous backroom store cupboard of a bookshop in Brisbane, Briefs has gone from strength to strength, ending up on our door-stop here in London on Southbank.
From the affectionately named “cultural black-hole of Australia”, Briefs brings familiar circus acts to the stage in a unique, mesmerising performance. With their attire made up of drag outfits and briefs, these honed performers push all the boundaries, gender-offending all the way.
The 90-minute act flies past in a blur of muscles and “manginas”, extraordinary outfits, heels and humour. This performance is for the open-minded only; the Brief Boys’ comedy is rather coarse, explicit, and categorically vulgar. Shivannah is a fascinating host, introducing the acts in a different costume every time. This drag-queen rocks not only her outfits, but a serious amount of attitude.
The music accompaniment is varied, in keeping with each act. The light display, props, and performances each tell a little story – coming together like a colourful compilation of skill and talent. And swigging champagne and Fosters in between addresses to the audience adds to the intoxicating charm of the over-all effect.
One photo could not capture the intensity and strength of the Briefs cast. Bringing a unique display of might, the frying-pan-folding Johnny Domino delivers the promised “little bit of butch,” whilst his high-heel-clad counterparts execute “some camp on the side.”
The finale of Briefs was disappointing; but for the one reason that every member of the audience wanted more, and although the vast majority of the show would suit women better, the performers by no means estrange the men.
Briefs is a supreme pleasure to behold.
Buy tickets for the performance at the Southbank Centre here.
Watch the King of Burlesque here: