Briefs: Close Encounters (4 stars)

Briefs: Close Encounters

credit: Kate Pardey

Polished show celebrating tenth anniversary

Briefs, the alternative cabaret troupe from Australia, are celebrating ten years in the business this year and that means you can expect two things from them: a polished show and a massive crowd.

Briefs have been at it for so long that the mixture of cabaret, circus, dance and comedy is technically stunning, conveys important messages and entertains in equal measures. Artistic director Fez Fa'anana plays the part of the fierce and sultry compère with attitude, and hilariously guides the boys through the show, making us all 'jealous' of the troupe's talents. However, the stand-out performance is the emotionally raw, contemporary dance love-story between the masculine Thomas Gundry Greenfield and Harry Clayton-Wright in drag – a breathtaking look at an intimate human moment.

It feels timely that the group are using their platform and urging people not to stay silent on social issues. However, the show's theme of 'coming from the future' feels a bit unnecessary at times as the artistry speaks for itself. One slight quibble are the sightlines for those seated on the balcony, as the obstructed view becomes an annoying distraction. Ultimately though, Briefs give a rousing performance with lots of cheeky dancing in their pants.

Assembly Hall, until 26 Aug (not 8, 13, 20), 7.15pm, £17.50—£19.50 (£16—£18).

Briefs: Close Encounters

  • 4 stars

The boys are back in town, ready to test the limits of masculinity, taste and decency in this high-energy cabaret and burlesque.

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