Saturday 6 September 2014

Briefs: The Second Coming @ London Wonderground

I have never seen anything like this before.  And I possibly never will again.

That's because this is a totally unique experience.  In what other show would you be likely to see circus acts and boylesque mixed with bizarre humour, yo-yo tricks, fierce drag lip-synching and the strangest "dog" act you're ever likely to see?

This is Briefs: The Second Coming, an all-male cabaret show from Australia that's stranger, more perverse and more outrageous than you can imagine - in the best possible way.  MC'd by the ever-amusing "bearded Aussie drag queen" Shivannah (a.k.a creative producer Fez Faanana), the audience is introduced to a whole host of bizarre acts that surprise, amuse and arouse in equal measure.  No other show glitters in the same way.

At times the humour is pushed a little too far - the aforementioned "dog" sequence in particular.  And out of the six-strong cast, a couple of the acts don't quite hit the target.  Whilst Dallas Dellaforce's lip-synching is full of attitude (and her costume design is immaculate), she acts as more of an interlude between the more physical performers.  Then there's the crazy simian comedy of Adam Krandle (the "evil hate monkey") - definitely the marmite act, sometimes reducing the show to crudeness.

Look past the trashy humour and niche camp, though, and there are some truly spectacular standout moments.  The twinkling smile of Louis Biggs is ever-charming throughout his routines, which include some impressive yo-yo work and hat juggling.  Circus performer Thomas Worral provides a stunning opening to the show, smouldering through an aerial hoop routine with effortless skill that sets the bar to an impossibly high standard.  He was matched by Mark Winmill ("Captain Kidd"), whose trapeze bird-bath act was muscular yet graceful and left the front two rows drenched.

What's most impressive about Briefs, though, is the balance between physical skill and humour throughout the show, each act delivered with sass, camp and sensuality.  It's that concoction that makes Briefs so sexy.


Watch: Briefs: The Second Coming runs until the end of September at the London Wonderground.