Roll up, roll up, roll up get your tickets to Briefs before they are gone.
A show that takes us back to the traditional acts of the circus mixed with Priscilla Queen of the Desert on steroids!
From the moment you enter the tent there is a party atmosphere: The bar is open, cast members dressed in grey suits show you to spare seats and offer to take your photo; within a minute of the show starting the suits are removed to an acrobatic strip tease sequence complete with huge feathered fans.
Do not let the fact that Briefs is billed as a show ‘not for the faint hearted’ deter you from catching this one. I observed a woman in the audience, who I would guess to be in her late sixties, laughing hysterically enjoying every minute while next to me two teenage girls showed no emotion and refused to laugh or clap at any of the acts.
Our bearded ringmaster for the evening, creative producer Fez Faanana, enters with a gold sequined off the shoulder number with pink boots and pink hair. His task is to reappear after each act dressed in another hilarious outfit designed by the famous designer ‘Vincent de Paul.’ Fez promises an evening that’s ‘a little bit of butch with some camp on the side.’
Along with Fez the other members of the cast entertain with standup, aerial acts, clowning, circus, drag and strip tease. Mark Winwill (reigning king of Burlesque) is impressive as he assumes several demanding acts from aerial burlesque to a wanna-be Olympic Gymnast who throws himself around while catching and rotating several hoops around his body, all in high-heels.
Davy Stampford assumes the role of clown and performs one of the most surprising acts spinning 12 plates on two metre high sticks. Audience members held their breath and gasped with delight at the final spectacle.
Perth born Johnny Domino is the strongman of the circus ripping up phonebooks, spinning two trannies from a bar across his shoulders and the very funny bending of a metal bar with the assistance of his bare bum cheeks, needs to be seen to be believed.
Natano Faanana (Fez’s brother) entwines himself in fabric, floating above the audience before plunging back to earth. Natano also provides one of the serious moments in the show as a video is shown. Don’t let the title of the video ‘Tap’ fool you. I thought it was going to be a comical piece about tap dancing. Instead we see footage of Natano being tattooed in a traditional Samoan ceremony which involved being tattooed by a sharp mental object being tapped by a stick for 37 hours over 7 days! You could hear the groans from the audience upon each tap of the stick.
Another serious moment is the acknowledgement of traditional landowners. It is a heartfelt moment from our ringmaster, Faanana, as he asks the audience to place both feet on the ground and acknowledge all the good, wrongs, bad and well meaning that have been done on the land and look towards a more promising future.
Of course it’s not a circus or a Fringe show without audience participation, so if you one who doesn’t mind getting up on stage make sure you buy a ticket in the meat tray raffle. Our winner of the evening, Tyson, was hilarious joining in the fun with a huge smile on his face.
Briefs may be “filthy minded, disorderly and not for the faint hearted” but it enables us, in a word that takes itself far to seriously, to embrace political incorrectness and for ninety minutes laugh at ourselves.
All emerged from the Idolize Spiegeltent with smiles on dials (and the chance to have a happy snap with one of the amazing cast members!). Hey there, hoopla!
Warning: Briefs contains strong language, adult themes and nudity. (The more you clap and cheer, the more they take off)
Briefs – Fringe World Festival
Jan 29 – Feb 11 2013 (no show 9th Feb)
7.30pm (90 mins)
The Idolize Spiegeltent – Perth Cultural Centre
Tickets $25 – $30 via website or Box office located in Perth Cultural Centre