Briefs: The Second Coming
Brisbane Powerhouse & Briefs Factory
December 3 -14 2014
Reviewed by Xanthe Coward
Featuring Louis Biggs, Fez Faanana, Evil Hate Monkey, Dallas Dellaforce, Thom Worrell & Mark Captain Kidd Winmill.
Briefs: The Second Coming is a riot of colour, sparkles, stilettos, feathers, flesh and outrageous, over the top, total fabulousness.
I can’t believe I hadn’t caught this show until now! Last time it came to Brisbane Powerhouse, Guy wrote it up. This time it’s part of the venue’s inaugural festival, Wonderland; very clever programming. Briefs is a multi award winning, internationally touring, crowd-pleasing all-boy burlesque beauty, which showcases extraordinary talent and impressively sculpted bodies. These guys are works of art, and it’s easy to see why this show appeals to all sorts. There is actually something for everyone (even the fetishists), and with its recent embellishments thanks to a successful funding bid, Briefs is a gorgeous, hilarious show well worth your (festive season) time and money.
The show opens with the stunning Shivannah (Fez Faanana) cursing gussets and offering the most down to earth acknowledgement of country ever, asking that we place both feet firmly on the floor and think of the ground beneath us, not just now and at official events, but often, and anywhere. Then, Las Vegas style, we’re gifted with some of the best fan work ever; think Busby Berkeley…boys. If you wanna’ learn to fan dance, ask one of these fellas to coach you. The ensemble effort doesn’t end there. If there’s anybody not already laughing out loud, a terrific eighties dance routine (and these boys can dance!), reminiscent of Young Talent Time, has everybody in stitches.
The aerial routines are slick and sexy – no fuss, no nonsense – it’s yet another different approach to circus (because circus is the new black, it’s everywhere); it’s completely unassuming, and this makes the evening more like a party than a show, during which each performer simply starts the routine and ends it and exits while we are still smiling and gasping in delight! (Thomas Worrell is exceptional!). A hula-hoop routine goes beyond (deceptively) simple artistry to become an exquisite new act, which could just as easily open for Gaultier on the runway during Paris Fashion Week, and a rubric cube challenge is met in a minute! And it’s this (twenty year old) naughty schoolboy at play with his iconic toy that makes me sit up and forget to finish my vino… Louis Biggs, hailing from Broome and neither straight nor gay (not his claim but part of Shivannah’s shtick), is one beautiful burlesque boy. Happily, this kid is as skillful as he is sexy, and I had to avoid meeting him after the show because WOAH BABY. (Also, WOE. Because I had not won the raffle. Pip and I waited to see if a similar offer would be made to those who had not only bought another drink but splashed out on the tea towel, but alas…). Biggs actually does great character work (no really, his naughty yo yo nerd is priceless), as well as a succession of cute hat tricks, in case we were not in lust with him already… #itsjustatalentcrush #noreally #nonotreally
King of Boylesque, Mark Winmill, presents a prelude to a spectacular finale that is not dissimilar to Bath Boy’s hot wet act, but in an ornate bird bath. As a beautiful, colourful, tropical bird. He is a sight to behold. Only David or Dita would do it better. JEALOUSSSSS.
Evil Hate Monkey presents crude comedy in the form of a mad balletic monkey (BANANA!), and Dallas Dellaforce brings such fierce elegance and grace to proceedings that I think it is she and not Grace Kelly or Ga Ga we’ve probs all wanted to be when we grow up, proving that as performer and costume designer, Dallas is certainly a force to be reckoned with! This is burlesque in its original and neo forms, incorporating circus and cabaret, and the effect is like a night out that begins with bubbles, stockings, stillettos and no cover charge, and ends with OMG-I-don’t-remember-what-I-drank-or-where-I-left-my-shoes and WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?
Briefs: The Second Coming has come full circle, returning to Brisvegas, the boys’ original stomping ground, with more glam, glitz (and enviable, perfectly toned guts) than I’m led to believe it’s ever boasted before. It seems the show will continue to evolve and in its current form it’s absolutely fabulous, the perfect festive fare. A delectable feast for the eyes and senses, you’ll high kick yourself if you miss it. Must finish December 14 2014.