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Review: Briefs at Arts Centre Melbourne

By Nicola Bennett

Briefs: A Close Encounter is the sparkling night out that mid-week Melbourne needs. Fresh from their successful West End run, the thrills, frills and acrobatic skills of the Briefs boys delivers what it promises and then some. 

Combining sets of dance, comedy, acrobatics, burlesque and drag, there is a relentless outpouring of talent that keeps audiences guessing at every transition, and wanting more with every passing number. Each physical skill has been honed to a level that is a true credit to each performer, yet it is their commitment to the performance element of their craft that truly captures the audience. The show is anchored by the bedazzled and dazzling Fez Faanana (@fezfaanana), who handles the demanding physicality and engagement in an expert manner. Fez provides a funny but thoughtful monologue that conveys important social messages with an emphasis on how to treat those who experience isolation within our communities. The shift between serious and comedy is a clever mechanism to connect with the audience and build the intimacy of the space. Having the performers mingling throughout the audience before the show also helps to deposit viewers directly into the action early.

The versatile space of the Playhouse Theatre within the Arts Centre is expertly manipulated to present every varying facet of the show. A bare set provides the ideal canvas for the show’s energetic use of lighting design. The performance space is cleverly divided and framed by the contrasting of deep black with stark spotlights. The atmosphere is sharpened further by the synchronised range of music.

The true highlight of the show was the performers’ energy. Each performer left the crowd in awe with their acrobatic prowess and engaging acts. From magic shows to dance routines to burlesque, each set and performer was uniquely talented. Prop changes between sets were played over in an increasingly entertaining way by a comedic mime. He had the crowd in hysterics and was a light hearted tidbit between more serious performances of the show.

Briefs: A Close Encounter promises to be a fun and entertaining night for all. It comes highly recommended but get in quick as it leaves Melbourne soon. So get in and see it and make everyone else - jealous!

Photos Supplied by Nicola Bennett

All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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