I’ve never wanted to be abducted by aliens more, than when the audience of The Playhouse at Arts Centre Melbourne rose to their feet at the close of Briefs: Close Encounters last night.

Truly out of this world, Briefs: Close Encounters elevates one of Australia’s most inspiring, inventive, creative and affirming performing arts troupes to an interstellar level that will keep you coming back again and again.

Since this is a review, I now have the daunting task of trying to capture ‘lightning in a bottle’ that is watching the Briefs Factory performers in action. But to narrow that down would be like holding back a wave with a teacup.


Briefs : Close Encounters, like all Briefs shows, are a cross section of acrobatics and aerial feats; with burlesque boyish charm and titillation that would make a stripper blush, infused with dancing, queer empowerment and intersectionality that is a feast for your senses and your soul, with plenty of comedy and campery thrown in.

So, what exactly does that mean?

It means it’s time to beam up to the Briefs mothership and nourish your soul and your senses. If you missed Briefs: Close Encounters the first time it was in Melbourne, what are you waiting for, and if you already saw it, then I know you’ve got your ticket booked again.

Opening the show with their own version of a welcome to country, we started rooted to the earth and then shoot into the future, where everything is much better than it is right now. Where difference is celebrated and not criticized and unique is on fleek.

To narrow down just one moment of the show would be an injustice to the rest of it. Every performers’ solo number was filled with cheek (and cheeks) and shows you why these guys are at the top of their game.

The soundtrack and costuming were truly divine, and elevated not only their physical forms, but every minute and moment of the show. Yes, every performer was spectacular, whether in solo or group numbers, but being in a large theatre and having the addition of so the lighting and the technical support heightens every part of every performance.

Briefs: Close Encounters. Photo: Kate Pardey.

But size doesn’t matter when it comes to what is on the stage. Whether burlesque or acrobatics it is all a dance, more than a striptease or a routine, it is each performers connection to the crowd (whether in the stalls or the front row) that keeps us moving forward. No matter what angle you are watching the show from, that angle is just for you, and each performer gives you a moment.

If you’d told me I would be laughing hysterically at a running gag of a rabbit with an alarm clock I would have looked at you like Marcia in the Brady Bunch and said, ‘Sure, Jan’, but the physical comedy is brilliant.

From caged aerial acrobatics and a space lip-synch, to a lamp dance that has never turned me on more and a science experiment that will have your balls bouncing, you won’t want to miss a moment.

If you miss it you will be (raises right hand and whispers) jealous!

Don’t miss Briefs: Close Encounters, which closes Sunday 27th October at Arts Centre Melbourne. Or bring the kids along this Saturday afternoon to the Brat Kids Carnival and show them why the future is Briefs!

Click here to book tickets and for more details.

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