There really is only one way to start this review: And now for something completely different. When the invite came through to see this show, I initially filed it away as it's not the sort of thing we normally cover. That's not meant to sound snobbish, but we do focus on the more traditional theatre-going experience. However, I thought I'd give Briefs a go to see a different type of entertainment and to broaden my horizons. Well, that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it!!
Briefs takes place in the Spiegeltent, a large circular tent on the Southbank just round the corner from the London Eye. Before booking your ticket, you should note that the show contains adult content and some nudity and you must be aged 16 years and above to see it. It is also described as being “for the fun-hearted, not the faint-hearted!”. So we have been warned!
This year, Briefs is returning to London following a successful run at the same venue last summer. The all-male “circusburlesque gender bending cast” consists of six Australians and a New Yorker, each with their own individual skills such as illusion, aerial acrobatics and various other circus skills, all delivered with a large dose of cheek.
Our Master of Ceremonies is Shivanna, who describes herself as “a little bit butch with a load of camp on the side” and as “a bearded immigrant trannie”. Shivanna is the perfect hostess and has a quip for every occasion - always witty, sometimes caustic, often risqué. The first act we are introduced to is Thomas Worrell, who performs some extraordinary body contortion and hand-balancing routines with a hula hoop suspended in mid air. Nothing too outrageous so far ...
Next up was “The Juvenile Delinquent” (Louis Biggs), who dressed up as a young schoolboy and was able to solve a Rubik’s cube in lightning speed before our very eyes. Then things got a little more heated! After he removed his tie, other items of clothing seemed to go the same way and the ending of this segment can be best described as “a sight for sore eyes”!!
My favourite act has to be the “Evil Hate Monkey”. We already know that monkeys love nothing more than a banana, and this monkey is no exception. In fact, he even likes to share his banana with the audience, with hilarious consequences. Other 'animals' also featured later in the show, including a section where you will not quite believe what you have just witnessed live on stage!
Another highlight included Mark 'Captain Kidd' Winmill, a mischievous acrobat who used a large glass bowl containing water to wet his feet and interact with the audience at the same time, while getting himself drenched in water from head to toe.
If you're looking for something different, naughty, cheeky, unpredictable and a little outrageous then this is the show for you. My desire was to try something a little out of the ordinary: job done – such great fun!