by Bobby Goudie

From their humble beginnings in Brisbane’s alternative variety scene, Briefs has grown into a national and international touring company who seem to pick up fans wherever they perform. Encompassing circus, physical theatre, drag, boylesque, dance and cabaret, Briefs ensures there is an act for every taste.

The Briefs Factory is an Australian creative collective who create and present evocative physical performance, paying respect to the traditions of circus, the extremities of physical theatre, the artistry of drag, the guts of burlesque, the imagery of theatre and the showmanship of cabaret.

Briefs were last at the Adelaide Fringe in 2010 and now they have returned this year with Briefs: The Second Coming with new international acts and more cohesion.

The Clothesline speaks on the phone with Bearded Lady and host Fez Fa’anana, who whips all the diverse acts into line on stage each night and is one of the only original cast members.

Recently in Perth for Fringe World, we begin by asking Fez about how Perth audiences reacted to Briefs?

“We sold out all 12 shows before we even got there!” she begins excitedly. “It’s been crazy crazy times and we’ve been fitting in as many people as possible every night. The audiences in Perth are pretty mental and on to it. We’ve been coming to Perth for the last four years so we’ve got a good following here and they sort of know what to expect.”

Tell us about The Briefs Factory?

“The company is based in Brisbane,” Fez says. “The current show we’re touring has some amazingly talented artists from Sydney and Western Australia, and one of the performers – Evil Hate Monkey – is from New York. So we’ve got a bit of a mix this time; the company was originally all from Brisbane but now it’s from all over. We’ve kind of extended our invitation out and have found some amazing talent by doing so.”

Why do people love Briefs so much and keep coming back?

“I think with our cast, there’s always somebody that audiences can relate to. There’s a mix of talents and personalities that make up the troupe. It’s a variety show with circus, comedy, dance and drag. We combine all these things so that people can fall in love and escape into the world we create.”

How is The Second Coming different to your previous shows?

“It’s less of a hosted show and has a real flow about it,” she replies. “The first show was more of a simple variety format. When we made the first show it was a combination of individuals and their acts whereas ‘Second Coming’ has a combination of really solid group acts.

“We’ve got some pretty crazy group numbers like our big opening, which I think is one of the highlights of the show. There is one number where the drag queens have the boys on leashes like dogs. If you see the image on our website, you’ll get a good idea of what I mean. It is a great picture with the pups with their masters.”

The Briefs Factory is made up of boylesque king Mark ‘Captain Kidd’ Winmill, avant-garde drag performer and costume designer Dallas Dellaforce, acrobat Evil Hate Monkey and the 21-year-old baby of the group, trapeze artist, Louis Biggs. Fez discusses the high level of skill and precision within the group.

“I think that people are pleasantly surprised by the show,” she says. “Some come in with low expectations about a big ‘camp’ circus show, but then they are really surprised by the amazing mix of highly skilled performers. Audience member’s latch on to their favourite individual performers, but in the end people love the combination and how all of us work together. It is a lovely mix of performers.”

The Briefs Factory is also co-producing two other Adelaide Fringe shows, including Trixie & Monkey: The Time is Ripe and hip-hop circus cabaret Hot Brown Honey.

“We’re really excited because it’s the first time we’ve presented these; both of them are really exciting projects. The company is growing and we really want Adelaide Fringe audiences to get the chance to see these scintillating shows so we’re co-producing them.

“All of the shows are at the Royal Croquet Club”, Fez continues. “We’re excited about coming to play and seeing how Adelaide audiences react. We are really excited to perform at the Royal Croquet Club and seeing the new Victoria Square.”

Briefs: The Second Coming performs at Royal Croquet Club’s The Menagerie from 9.15pm on Sat Feb 28 until Sun Mar 15.

Book at FringeTIX on 1300 261 255 or Click HERE to purchase your tickets.

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