Briefs: Close Encounters is, quite simply, out of this world. Hailing from the future, host Shivannah (Fez Fa’anana) and her troupe of glamorous disco circus punks are here to assure us that despite it all, humanity does go on, and in their vision of the future life sure is a party. It’s a fabulously rollicking ride right from the get go as the boys, Mark Winmill, Louis Biggs, Harry Clayton-Wright, Thomas Gundry Greenfield, Dale Woodbridge Brown, and Thomas Worrell, sauntered down the aisle to thunderous high energy music in revealing white suits and plenty of glitter.
There are as many costume changes as there are genres of performance – drag, burlesque, physical comedy, contemporary dance, acrobatics, aerials, cabaret, and more. But what Briefs does so wonderfully is bring all of these styles together. There’s an astronaut strip-tease ropes routine, an astounding bird-cage aerial above Shivannah, who lip syncs into a wind machine in an incredible voluminous outfit, and a wonderfully weird comedy meets contemporary Kate Bush dance routine.
Together with truly excellent lighting and sound design, the sharpness of the choreography and seamlessness with which each routine transitions into the next shows that we are truly in the hands of masters. Not a single beat is missed, and every opportunity for camp glamour or cheeky humour is taken, elevating the often jaw-dropping displays of physical prowess to new heights. And for every wink-wink, there is a political nudge, and the show is as much a celebration of resistance and resilience as it is a good time. The team, both on stage and off, are clearly very in sync, and the enthusiasm and energy they have together pours off the stage. And geez is it catching!
Briefs: Close Encounters is not one of the Fringe’s cheapest shows, but it is well worth the money. For a night of fabulous, outrageous, jaw-dropping and belly-laughing feats, you don’t want to miss this show. It’ll leave you feeling uplifted, entertained and perhaps even hopeful for the future!