I’d like to say I was very suspicious and standoffish when a friend of mine described “Briefs: The Second Coming” as “fit Australian transvestites doing Cirque de Soleil type stuff in their underpants,” but more honestly my response was much more along the lines of MY GOD HOW LONG IS IT PLAYING AND WHEN CAN I GET A TICKET? Fortunately they are booked in the Spiegeltent of the London Wonderground for nearly a month and the show is quite affordably priced at £15 quid (a seated ticket, natch), so the fact that I missed the Saturday night show because it was sold out did not mean I was doomed forever to miss this evening of louche entertainment. Instead, I got a group of people together (all men) to join me the next Saturday night and see what all of the excitement before. Was it going to be another show that utterly failed to live up to the billing and spent way too much time spinning out filler for one or two good acts?
Despite going for the cheap seats, we had completely reasonable, unobstructed chairs at the side of the stage (that later turned out to be much safer than the first two rows). I bought some raffle tickets – why not – and we curled up to our large drinks and waited for the fun to begin.
Well! And fun it was! Although there was a bit of a dry spot during a “geek boy solves Rubik’s cube,” we were generally treated to an endless bout of tumbling, juggling, silks/trapeze, and hula hooping (don’t knock it until you see someone do it wearing a sequinned change purse and nothing else) that kept the energy level high and the laughter rolling. Even the Rubik’s cube act was jazzed up (MUSTN’T MAKE BAD OBVIOUS PUN!) with some stripping (I did start paying much more attention!) and despite all of the lovely toned flesh on display, boundaries of taste were generally maintained.
Um, well, generally. And by boundaries I mean no actual penises or bollocks were on display, at least not from my angle (man on my left disagreed), but I need to be clear: a serious breach of taste did occur. This was during the act in which three of the more athletic men performed as if they were the pets of the drag queens holding their leashes, which was decidedly both hot and crossing into a certain level of sexual perversion I’m not used to seeing in the theater. AND THEN IT WENT A BIT FURTHER.
Now, this left the four of us howling with laughter, but as my friend Josh put it, “You really have to work hard to shock a room full of gay men but they judged the audience right.” We were all hysterically laughing. This left the followup acts, with body shots and water being flung everywhere (and a crocheted banana penis cover) unable to get back up to that level, but it didn’t matter. It was a great night and I could absolutely see myself coming again and again.
(This review is for a performance that took place September 6, 2014. It continues through September 28th.)