BRIEFS: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS gets 8.5/10 The mothership has landed

Briefs: Close Encounters @ West Australian Spiegeltent at The Pleasure Garden (for Fringe)
Sunday, February 11, 2018

8.5/10

The boys of Briefs are back in town with a new show, but this time they’ve time-travelled from the future to reassure us that everything’s gonna be alright. This is wonderful news, as things are looking pretty weird out there in the world, and not in that fabulously weird way that Briefs generally champions.

Our beloved host is, of course, the gorgeous, gigantic, glittery Fez Fa’anana, who jokes that because of lack of funding she’s appearing in Kmart control briefs rather than the Swarovski-covered corset she was supposed to have. She lays down the law to the audience, encouraging us to use our manners, like saying “please” and “thank you” (which was a lesson delivered too late for a few pushy patrons in the queue before the show) and also to put away our mobiles so that we can share in a communal experience.

Close Encounters is pretty magical from start to finish, with arousing acrobatic displays (where did that aerial rope just go?), silly antics (the most darling little bunny-man to ever grace a Spiegeltent enters Ride On Time), and all kinds of juggling (Louis Biggs really knows how to handle a set of balls), prancing and contemporary dancing (a mullet-haired Thomas Gundry Greenfield turns the image of the typical Aussie bloke on its head, fairly literally) that could be loosely strung together by the show’s outer space theme.

The boys of Briefs are all multi-skilled, endlessly entertaining, and collectively display possibly the cutest set of buns on planet Earth, and though the ‘Close Encounters’ theme for me felt tenuous, with a scene or two that didn’t seem to meld with the concept, I’m all for the company’s choice to try out and give audiences something new.

We’re pretty lucky to live in a time and place in the galaxy where we can have such stellar encounters with these brilliant, outspoken, fearless, queer performers, and I for one am relieved to know that the future looks even more glittery and fabulous.

CICELY BINFORD

Briefs: Close Encounters is selling fast at The West Australian Spiegeltent as part of FRINGE WORLD until February 25, with weekend sessions already sold out. For tickets and more information, visit the event page here.

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