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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p

Starmen: Briefs Close Encounters @LeicesterSqXmas

Circus performers often seem out of this world. This Christmas The Briefs Factory, lands at the Leicester Square Spiegeltent. Briefs Factor is an all-male burlesque (or as they call it boylesque) group who use circus, drag and dance to show us a good time. The premise is they’re time-travelling aliens offering a message a hope and cheap thrills. And they don’t disappoint for a moment.

With a pulsating soundtrack from music director Busty Beatz mixing disco, electronic and dance, this show never lets up. And when the entire cast come together this show is both breathtaking and breathless with it’s audacious spectacle and energy. It’s like watching a Vegas show up close.

Holding the show together is host, emcee and artistic Fez Fa’anana. Even setting the ground rules for the night (no phones, no bad manners, no dramaturg) he’s hilarious. Then there are the performers. Mark “Captain Kidd” Winmill delivers both a beautiful aerial display and a slightly disturbing bearded lady drag act.

Thomas Worrell has a spectacular routine spinning around in a giant bird cage. Brett Rosengreen thrills with his athletic dancing. Then there’s Harry Clayton-Wright as a bearded Farrah-Fawcett damsel in distress.

Dale Woodbridge-Brown has a quieter and more surreal moment as a time-hopping rabbit boy-clown.

There’s also a regular feature the Briefs boys run, which is a raffle in which the winner gets a special treatment from one of them. On press night it was Louis Bigg’s turn to give this eager winner a slightly naughty blow dry.

Often naughty, sometimes filthy but always delivered with incredible style and energy. You don’t have to be on a hen night to enjoy what is one of the best shows to see this Christmas. Briefs Close Encounters is at the Leicester Square Spiegeltent through to 3 January. They also are running a more family-oriented variety show called Brat Kids Carnival on various matinee dates up to 30 December. And if you like your entertainment extra filthy there’s a late night show called Club Briefs which runs late nights on weekends up to 30 December. A show that grabs you by the baubles indeed.


Photos by Kate Pardey

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