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Briefs: Close Encounters @ Brisbane Powerhouse Review

Published in Arts News  
The Briefs boys were on full display at Brisbane Powerhouse in a showcase of acrobatics, circus tricks and skin for 'Close Encounters'.

Led by ringmaster Fez Fa'anana, the boys took turns showing off for a sold-out audience that were thirsty for laughs and fun on a Friday night.

The solo performances were a mixture of hysterical and impressive, with displays of juggling, corde lisse manoeuvring, contortionist skills and comedy to top it off.

One of the boys emerged among the cabaret tables, weaving his way through the audience wearing a pair of bunny ears. He sat five or six small alarm clocks on the stage and as he pointed to each one, it rang. He did this faster and faster, pointing to each one at random times. It was hilarious to watch, and made for a good time filler between the more thrilling points of the show.

Fez Fa'anana was a brilliant host, emerging from the curtains every so often to rev up the onlookers a little more. He seemed to be wearing a different outfit every time, at one point draped in shimmering gold material and shouting “these are supposed to be Swarovski crystals!”.

Before the show, a few of the cast members walked around with buckets to buy raffle tickets for a dollar. The response I got when asking about the prize was “something very special”.

This something special was revealed at the tail-end of 'Close Encounters' when the winner – a woman who had a mixture of apprehension yet keenness on her face – was called to the stage to receive her reward. To say anymore would ruin it for the future raffle ticket winners, but I will say the money you spend on a ticket is for a worthy cause: a foundation Fez Fa'anana called 'The Briefs Boys Vodka Fund'.

Every dollar counts.

Though there were a few slip-ups (which can be forgiven, since the Brisbane shows are the world premiere performances of 'Close Encounters'), the show overall was a thrilling affair, with an upbeat soundtrack of pulsing beats and a talented cast of boys having fun and showing off for an adoring crowd.

★★★★☆

'Briefs: Close Encounters' plays until 7 May at Brisbane Powerhouse, and from 9-11 June at Adelaide's Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent.

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