Monday, February 04, 2013

Briefs - Review- Sydney Festival 2013- INTERVIEWS

Written by Paul Andrew   

Monday, 04 February 2013 21:06 
BriefsBrisbane’s brassy, brash and brazen boylesque crew Briefs turned Parramatta’s Perdu Spiegeltent inside-out and upside-down during this year’s Sydney Festival.

The all male, all hip, all raucous circus have fabulously fused fantasy, burlesque, gender bending politics, aerial acts, strong man skills, lap prancing, chorus lines and frou-frou feather fan dancing into a scintillating, scantily-clad, pulsating, alchemy of camp.

Brief’s Hostess with the Five O’clock Shadow and Mistress of the Quick Change Shivannah aka Fez Faanana is a consummate MC, part gifted storyteller, part trans activist Shivannah dazzles audiences with her witty double entendres, wondrous wardrobe malfunctions and staged foibles while unrelentingly regaling us with hilarious tales of her/his countless pointless hours at Ipswich Centrelink, St Vinnie’s Chic,the endless hoopla of funding applications to The Australia Council and  rapier sharp “wilderbeast” drag queenpersonal asides. Her/his presentation is as much Briefs biography as it is showbitchship. It’s side splittingly priceless.

Salon Perdu’s all silk, all smoke, all mirrors, all post-absinthe haze is the ideal big top for this brand of high camp, highly hirsute happenings. From the “genuine” strong man with a bloody great blade Johnny Domino, who cuts a fine figure in bright faux spandex cut off tights and ironic uber macho Hipster styling; all real no simulation feats of awe inspiring physical strength, Token Native aka Natano Faananais absolutely breathtaking as he dances the silks replete with his personal Samoan twists and turns down to, or rather up to, the aerial grace incarnate of local Westie boy and the Las Vegas 2011 Reigning King of Boylesque Captain Kidd (Mark Winmill) who puts a whole new slant on highly strung and awesomely well hung.

Judging by the mirth unleashed by the Parramatta crowd last Friday and the gleeful glints in gleaming eyes it comes as no surprise that Briefs are fast becoming the must-have dazzling daring darlings of the International Festival Circuit. After a hit season at the recent Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sydney Festival and a string of pearled performances in Brisbane, Adelaide and regional centres in recent years Briefs are proving that while their underwear is scant (and ever-so-slightly soiled) there is absolutely nothing brief about their zeitgeist appeal.

2013 Sydney Festival

Venue: Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, Parramatta
Dates: January 18 – 27, 2013
Tickets: $40
7.30PM (90 MIN)

First Published Australian Stage Feb 4, 2013

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