Review by Matthew Hocter
Having seen Briefs for the first-time last Fringe, I was beyond excited to see what they were going to deliver in 2022. Sadly, like so many other things affected by Covid, cancellation of venues, natural disasters and changes to line ups, this year’s foray into all things Briefs took a very different turn.
With three shows initially on offer, things were eventually scaled back to just one, Briefs: Club Culture, taking up a four-night residency at The Arts Theatre on Angus Street. The Briefs crew have carved out a name for themselves delving into all things, cabaret, acrobatics, boylesque and drag. The shows are fast paced, visually stunning and full of a sexiness that never enters into vulgarity. Briefs: Club Culture had little to do with their original format.
Celebrating BIPOC artists with a heavy focus on First Nations talent, Briefs: Club Culture covered everything from novice singers, to spoken poetry and drag (Kings & Kweens). Kween Kong, Mother of the Haus of Kong, took over the reins as MC for night, filling in for Brief’s creator and regular host Fez Faanana who was stuck in Queensland due to the recent floods.
The highlight of the evening was most definitely the final act, Rob Edwards who sang three songs, opening with “Searching,” a song about disposition due to the stolen generation and his recent familial journey on rediscovering their roots. Edwards' voice is beautiful and his talent is certain. Most definitely one to watch. This followed with Kween Kong hitting the stage for one last lip sync, before wrapping the show up.
I don’t envy the complexities and difficulties that many artists have faced over the last couple years, but then again, we have all been affected in some way(s) or another. I was expecting more from this show, especially given the heavy association with the branding that is Briefs. This felt very amateur and if I am to be completely honest, disjointed, rushed even.
The Fringe website states “Club Culture Cabaret proudly boasts a celebration of iconic circus, dance, music, cabaret, burlesque & comedy artists of colour from across the festival. Don’t miss this world premiere, fun fuelled, jaw dropping, rawkus night!”
Looking forward to seeing that show oneday.