Club Briefs have now achieved cult status after performing at fringe festivals around the world and winning awards for sell-out seasons. Our favourite boys (and girl) in briefs return for Fringe World 2019 and the shenanigans are more wicked than ever.
Surrender to a fabulous night of circus, drag, burlesque, dance, comedy and music by an ensemble that is cultivated to have you in stitches as you give in to the evocative and mesmerising physical performances.
‘Club Briefs’ breaks down the fourth wall with no restraint in its constant humorous onslaught.
Your statuesque host, Shivannah, proud of his/her Tongan roots, takes the art of gender deconstruction and throws all rules connected to it out the proverbial window. Playing it butch for the most part, Shivannah treats the stage like a catwalk, only you won’t be seeing any Victoria’s Secret lingerie paraded down this runway. Instead, costumes come in the tackiest of styles – an old ballgown here, a ‘Mumsy’ casual dress there. And the gestures that come with these low-brow outfits are insanely funny (highlight being The Busy Mum: “Busy, busy, busy, busy… busy, busy, busy, busy…” You’ll get it when you see it).
Shivannah and Co encourage audience participation from the get-go, as the artists meander through the seated crowd selling raffle tickets to what is sure to be the prize of the night. After some hilarious opening jokes about a sparkly op-shop outfit recently purchased by our host/ess, the show kicks into gear*.
Crystal Stacey is up first, a gal whose dance-acrobatics in hip-hop style sees her manipulating multiple hoops at once.
Then there’s Louis Biggs, a staple performer of Briefs, who ‘cockily’ holds the stage as the curtain reveals him wearing only a lollipop and an oh-so devillish grin. Louis playfully solves a Rubix cube as the song Lollipop congruently plays. His ample charm exudes as lollipops are hurled to the audience – whose raucous applause suggests they’d prefer it if he wasn’t donning that sock.
Guinness World Record-holding cycle artist Rowan Thomas debuts with a graceful yet thrilling mastering of the cyr wheel, during which he skilfully undresses. You’ll note by now that ending up in their underwear is part of the Briefs theme.
Honey Brown then wows the audience with her beatbox rap, boasting pure energy, and an infectious hip-hop vibe. Aerial artist Thomas Worrell follows with daring drops, after gyrating through silk fabric with elegance and strength.
The finale is a showstopper as male burlesque enjoys its turn in the giant martini glass (thank you Dita Von Teese for the inspiration), sexily splashing about as the audience gets wet – yes, literally.
This year presented at Metro City, which has undergone an aesthetic makeover inspired entirely by Salvador Dali, Club Briefs feels grander and more up-scaled, although we must admit it appears to have lost some of that intimate and hilarious interaction with the audience that its former Spiegeltent setup offered. A risky move and perhaps one that isn’t for the better.
Still, whether you have seen Club Briefs before or are new to this experience, rest assured it remains one of the hottest cabaret/variety shows in town. In fact, it breaks down the fourth wall with no restraint in its constant humorous onslaught. ★★★★
Annette McCubbin & Antonino Tati
‘Club Briefs’ is on at Metro City, Northbridge until February 17, 2019.
For the full Fringe World program and ticket bookings, visit www.fringeworld.com.au.
* ‘Club Briefs’ often change up the order of their stints and sketches while occasionally even the content of their shows night after night.