Briefs: Close Encounters Brisbane Review @ MELT Festival 2018

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'Briefs: Close Encounters' 'Briefs: Close Encounters'

Returning to Brisbane Powerhouse with their ‘Close Encounters’ production, Briefs received a standing ovation by a thoroughly enamoured, packed Powerhouse Theatre crowd.


Travelling back from the future to deliver a message of hope, the Briefs crew took the audience on an intergalactic journey that criss-crossed their iconic brand of circus, drag, burlesque and comedy.

MC’d by the fierce and fabulous Fez Fa'anana, who delivered sharp social commentary and struck poses with a grace that puts Madonna’s male voguing dancers to shame, the show was a perfect balance of dizzying highs and grounding truths. Illuminated by perfectly executed lighting, and with the cast bedecked in heavenly costumes, the production was a dazzling feast for the eyes, with each performers transporting the audience to a different dimension.

Aerialist Thomas Worrell, arched, spun and bent within a suspended cage to Sevdaliza’s hypnotic track ‘Human’, later upping the party vibes as he performed on the aerial hoop to Björk’s ‘Hyper-Ballad’.

Dancer Thomas Gundry Greenfield’s solo contemporary piece to Australian Crawl’s ‘Reckless’ was edgy, masculine and raw. A later pairing with UK performance artist, Harry Clayton-Wright, in a hilarious duet performed to Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ was a crowd favourite.

Easy on the eye circus performer, Louis Biggs, delivered a saucy science lab striptease interspersed with gravity-defying ball juggling, and chemical manipulations that saw beakers smoke and erupt.

After shedding an astronaut outfit, King of Boylesque, Mark ‘Captain Kidd’ Winmill, performed his first solo on the aerial rope to the synthpop of Róisín Murphy, later transporting the room to Donna Summers 1970s disco fever with a wild hula hoop act to ‘I Feel Love’.

Providing entertainment during the whirlwind costume and set changes was Dale Woodbridge-Brown in the role of the White Rabbit from ‘Alice in Wonderland’. After executing perfectly timed skits with clock props, Dale took to the stage to perform a frenetic baton-twirling routine to Black Box’s ‘Ride On Time’, which had many of the audience up on their feet.

The most polished cabaret burlesque show I have ever seen, ‘Briefs: Close Encounters’ is truly out of this world.

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