Fringe Review: Briefs: Close Encounters is a guaranteed good time
Briefs is a staple event at the Perth Fringe World Festival. Every year, there will be at least one person in your office gushing about how amazing the show was and how “you absolutely have to see it”. This usually fell on deaf ears for me — I mean, how good could it be?
The company sells their performances as a combination of the traditions of circus, the extremities of physical theatre, the artistry of drag, the guts of burlesque, the imagery of theatre, the debauchery of speakeasies and the showmanship of cabaret. And they don’t disappoint. I can confirm that I spent the majority of the show with my mouth wide open in amazement, pausing only to cheer, applaud, or utter “what the fuck” to myself.
The first piece of advice when attending a Briefs show: don’t show up 10 minutes before it starts. There is a lot of hype surrounding Briefs, and my 15-minute early arrival meant that I was near the back of the line waiting to get in. I was fortunate enough to get a good spot despite this, but you may get stuck behind a pillar if you don’t heed my advice.
The show is led by Fez Fa’anana, our captain for the evening, taking the audience on a journey via a spaceship to the future. She is the queen of the affair, captivating the audience with outfit change after outfit change, each one more sparkly and exciting than the last. The futuristic space narrative was a bit forced and at times barely connected the acts, but this wasn’t a deal-breaker. At the end of the day, the people came to be entertained, and the 75 minutes are jam-packed with dance numbers, acrobatics, lip-syncing, tennis balls, lycra, hula hoops, aerial performance, rubix cubes, and a bit of political activism thrown in.
Of course, there was stripping. I have no complaints on that front, nor did the majority of the audience judging from the response. It was a well-choreographed show, with perfect timing and campy flair from the cast, leaving the audience with smiles on their faces.
Make sure you bring plenty of coins for the raffle — if you don’t, you might end up jealous.