Expect a yo-yo to reach new heights of sexiness.
This is the third time Briefs have come to Perth. However, this time the performers are forced to condense a 90-minute show into 70 minutes. I think they keep mentioning it because it upsets them. And it’s true – the show does suffer. Based on previous incarnations, it must be the interventions by MC Fez Faanana, the giant, Samoan transvestite, that are sliced from the line-up. While this doesn’t detract from the brilliance of the performances, it does lose the show its lynchpin. The best display, after all, always has a centrepiece.
Briefs is vaudeville with a heavy dollop of boylesque. The show is a sexy, high-energy variety show, consisting of a string of performances by its all-male cast, most of which are intense, incredibly skilled and often a little bit wrong. Expect a yo-yo to reach new heights of sexiness. Expect feathers like you’ve never seen them before. Expect bananas used how you might expect bananas to be used in a show like this. Expect Nana Mouskouri. And expect all of it thick and fast and gloriously disorientating, until 70 minutes of Briefs both feels like ten minutes and a lifetime, and all the straight men in the audience begin to reconsider their sexual orientation.
Each performer (and this year sees four new faces) drips with charisma as well as skill. The performances are tight, hysterically funny and very satisfying, with hardly a breath in between. It is unfortunate that the show has lost its ringmaster this year – Faanana’s MC role has previously lent a structure and coherence to the proceedings, as he made friends with the audience, set the pace and introduced the next performer – but I would still be tempted to call Best of Fringe. Just be sure to book; word of mouth is fierce and the season will sell out.
And just one, quick word of advice: If you’re wearing something you’d like to keep dry, it might be wise to avoid the front row.
Rating: 4 ½ stars out of 5
Briefs: The Second Coming
Performed by the Briefs Boys.
The West Australian Spiegeltent, Northbridge
31 January-9 February