Cabaret review: Briefs – The Second Coming
Edinburgh Fringe Scotsman review: Briefs: The Second Coming at Assembly George Square (Venue 3), reviewed by Claire Smith
From the moment Briefs supremo Fez Faanana struts out onto the stage in front of a pink-lit cloud of shimmering feathers, he owns it. He captivates the crowd with a smile, a curled lip or a quick finger-flicking “F*** You”.
Behind the cloud of elegantly flickering fluff are the other members of Briefs – a group of six beautifully built young men who make taking their clothes off into an art form.
This is the third time these masters of the art of boylesque have come to Edinburgh. And such is the fickle attention span of this town that they’ve had to really push the boat out this time.
The Briefs experience – a celebration of masculinity with a side order of camp and a huge helping of humour has gone big. In the beautiful surroundings of the Palazzo Spiegeltent, the gorgeous boys put on a dazzling and ambitious show which takes in aerial rope tricks, trapeze, magic, clowning, ballet, lip-synching and a perverse reverse fashion show involving masters and their dogs.
The bodies are beautiful, the visual effects strange and surprising. It’s sexy – but not subservient. Although they are not averse to a bit of muscle rippling, bottom pumping and cock sock twirling – these are performers with a great sense of dignity and grace.
It’s also, I thought as I watched it unfold, a very Edinburgh show – freakish, funny and beautiful. Even though this show has been played and perfected on the other side of the world it has Edinburgh through it like letters though a stick of rock. It is exactly the kind of ridiculous, over the top creation this place gives birth to and inspires.
In a thrilling finale, Mark “Captain Kidd” Winmill, crowned king of his art in Las Vegas, performs a dramatic routine writhing and splashing inside around a giant champagne glass while partly suspended from a trapeze.
As the performers strut around the stage one last time with sparkly letters on their heads, there is a real sense of celebration in the room. This is it, baby.
MORE INFO: Briefs is at Assembly
Originally published in The Scotsman