If Priscilla ran away to join a circus cabaret troupe and ended up, not in a desert, but in a tent, in the centre of Edinburgh, at Christmas time – then the outcome might be something a bit like Briefs.
While the biting wind numbed our noses outside, inside the Spiegeltent Aussie boy-lesque band Briefs were clearly used to warmer climes. Dressed in skimpy spandex and sequins, or thongs and feathers like fabulous - sometimes bearded - exotic birds, they strutted, posed and preened in a bizarre and spectacular way.
There was dance, magic, circus tricks, a fair amount of stripping and a whole lot of laughs. Very naughty - and not all of it nice - it was a riot from start to finish. The whole thing was kept moving by the laid-back, bearded and glamorous emcee Shivannah - who could also bust some moves when the role demanded and pulled off some mean magic tricks with a swagger of surly sarcasm.
A monkey-man danced on gold pointe shoes while coercing members of the audience to get involved with his banana and a beautiful boyish man gave a breathtaking display on an aerial hoop. The climax comprised a trapeze and a man-size bird-bath – with the front rows kindly being provided with a plastic sheet to protect themselves from getting messy.
It would be easy not to look beyond the spangly costumes and not-so-subtle innuendos, and so to miss the talent and skill that ensures that these blokes play to packed houses every night and sees audiences coming back for more again and again. Between them there is an accomplished artistry that buffs up the tasteless and the tacky and gives it a touch of real class.
A thumping soundtrack also helps. From the moment the sax soared on Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street, later to segue into Pump Up the Jam, all the booty was on the floor and shaking! The costumes by Dallas Dellaforce brought a distinct flavour and she herself rocked some iconic looks with the help of a treadmill and a wind-machine. High quality, top-notch trash!
Runs until 4th January 2015. Tickets from £14.50 (includes £1 online booking fee).
Recommended for over 18s. Under 16s will be refused admission. Contains adult content and some nudity.