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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