Briefs, Close Encounters at the Underbelly Festival: Review by Stephen Vowles

This fantastic troupe of Australian performers made a very welcome return to this year’s Underbelly Festival. It’s a brand new show called Close Encounters (featuring some brand new cast members) and when this stellar, intergalactic extravaganza began the camp was instant.  The thrilling ride began with powder puffs at the ready then becoming hugely erotic, exotic strategically placed feather fans – and did not let up for the 65 minutes of pure adrenalin-fuelled acrobatics and gymnastics. Featuring a very handsome Louis Biggs juggling with white balls and a Rubik’s Cube whilst taking his clothes off at the same time. Shivana-MC Mark ‘Captain Kidd’ Winmill, Hula Hooper Thomas Worrell, Birdcage Harry Clayton-Wright, angle grinder shower Dale Woodbridge-Brown and finally Rabbit, Thomas Gundry-Greenfield all demonstrating an artistry and masculinity that was, as their promo poster boasted, ‘A unique glitter bomb of circus, drag and Boylesque’. During the spaces in between the acts, Shivana’s message was that despite all the ‘crap’ going on in this world we must stay positive and look to the future. This was not out of place and garnered the applause it deserved. Briefs is an exceptional, at times eccentric, piece of performance art that clearly shows the skill and capabilities of the male form. As the finale approached at warp speed the audience were lapping this up and rightly so. Where else would you find an astronaut doing a very ‘naughty’ striptease? At Briefs, that’s where. This show is a must see.


Briefs, Close Encounters runs to 30th September at The Spiegeltent Tent,  Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Road, Southbank, SE1 8XX. Box office 0333 344 4167.

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