Posts Tagged ‘briefs’

Briefs Bite Club – Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Center

July 27, 2022

I’ve been watching Briefs in its various incarnations for years – my affair with Briefs appears to have outlasted many of my relationships, in fact. I was happy to have them back after lockdown ended. I mean, what life needs right now is a big, glittery, queer burst of joy, right?

Only – I _had_ actually thought they’d gotten a bit formulaic. And this year, they threw the formula out the window for their show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. No more tent, no more disco anthems, a bit less audience interaction – instead, it was a heartbreakingly beautiful show celebrating everything we have to enjoy about life, in times that seem increasingly dark.

Emcee Fez Faanana explained that the change came because of a connection the Briefs cast – and I think maybe he specifically – made at an Australian festival with the singer Sahara Beck. Hearing that story of connection, of people looking out for each other in a really bad time … well, that’s a story I’m very open to right now. And all that time shut in together, bouncing off the walls, not knowing what to do …. and then maybe reaching out a tiny tendril to someone else and having them reach back …. yes, I want to hear and see that story, I want to see what they created, with that spoonful of care and a healthy serving of WTF is going on sprinkled on top, what they did in the same place so many of us found ourselves.

What we got was an exceedingly beautiful show, one that, with the often heartbreakingly beautiful songs accompanying it, made me think about what a wonder it is that people can do so many amazing things with their bodies. They can bend in two, they can juggle 12 balls at once (maybe it was less, it seemed like 12), they can shoot to the sky on silk and willpower, they can love and laugh and break each others hearts. When the “gigolo” character stripped his final bits of clothing off, it was in no way filthy – it felt instead like a celebration of being alive. And that’s a place I really want to be right now.

Briefs Bite CLub – Photo credit Lachlan Douglas

If you are curious about what kind of circus work Briefs does – I could describe it in detail for every act – but instead why not just go and let this beauty wash over you and spend an evening being happy for every moment we’re given.

Thank you for the great night, all of you, and I hope to see you again in much more joyous circumstances. (This review is for the press night performance that took place on Friday, July 22, 2022.)

If you’re interested, here’s the songs Sarah performed – I honestly would have come out just to hear her sing, her voice was so good.

Set list:

Crack bang bang

Like you

Mr breezy


Tapping on the roof

21st century

Nothing wrong with that

Queen of hearts


Everyone wants noise

Here it comes


Here we go again

I’m in love


Mini-review – Briefs the Second Coming – London Wonderground Southbank

September 11, 2014

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.)