Briefs Factory Sink Their Teeth Into Bite Club For Christmas

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  • Friday, 26 November 2021 14:57
Published in Arts  
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'Bite Club: The Xmas Edition' 'Bite Club: The Xmas Edition'

The newly-renovated Princess Theatre in south Brisbane, once home to vaudeville entertainers and the United States Entertainment Unit during WWII, will showcase Briefs Factory’s newest experience.

Bringing live music, cabaret and the zest of queer extravagance, 'Bite Club' seamlessly melds drag, theatre, circus and comedy with scintillating songbird Sahara Beck into a two-and-a-half hour event.

Briefs Co-Creator Mark 'Captain Kidd' Winmill says, “We’ve gone from our club style into a big number with a four-piece band and six boys on stage. Lots of feather fans and amazing music.”

'Bite Club' is an ensemble performance of Briefs Factory members: Thomas Worrell, aerial hoopist, circus maestro, and celebrated contortionist who has worked internationally and on stage and television; entertainment superstar Brett Rosengreen, who has worked with greats such as Kylie Minogue, Elton John, Tina Arena, and and Jay Z; and Broome-born Louis Biggs who performs in many disguises such as flying trapeze artist, acrobat, clown, and heartbreaker.

Joining them are the co-creators Fez Faanana, who has produced and programmed work for Brisbane Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival, as well as performed extensively overseas and in Australia in a number of incredible tours “creating accessible, ground-breaking, physically dynamic, risqué and contemporary performances” that are influenced by his Pacific bloodline; and Mark, an award-winning performer of circus, burlesque and clown in festivals, spiegeltents, theatres and nightclubs the world over.

It’s hard to encompass the sheer talent and expertise these performers have in one paragraph. Suffice to say, they are more than ready to bring their blend of sugar, spice and everything nice to the Princess Theatre.

Since the show was made during COVID, Mark describes the aesthetic as “a mash up of styles”, “very circusy”, and “eclectic”.

“It sounds a bit hippie, but it was organic, the way we pulled it together. A lot of our outfits are recycled. Our feather fan opening number is a collection of fans from four different shows.”

'Bite Club' is all about expression, but they’re not afraid to shy away from politics. While the common saying is, “the personal is political”, Mark makes a point to say that the way this show expresses politics is not shoved in anyone’s face. It’s an organic statement of gender joy and freedom of sexuality, body and music. In a world where transgender rights in so-called progressive governments are being stripped away, 'Bite Club' is enlightened.

“For us, talking about it is basics, but for some people, it’s still so mind-blowing.”

The audience for Briefs Factory is diverse, to say the least. Straight couples, LGBTQIA+ couples, grandparents and young kids come to their shows in towns and cities all over Australia to immerse themselves in an experience of colour, contortion and clownery. The significance of this isn’t lost on queer audiences, and the opportunity to showcase 'Bite Club' to any young LGBTQIA+ kids watching, kids who may be questioning, and kids who might have never known a world as extravagant as this, isn’t lost on the performers either.

“We really pride ourselves [on being accessible],” Mark says. “We’re really keen to do more regional stuff, and our audience is just so diverse. We need the space and freedom to do this in these places. We win them over by the end of the night.”

'Bite Club: The Xmas Edition' plays Princess Theatre (Brisbane) 11-18 December.



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