The be-feathered brothers from Brisbane behind Briefs have sold-out shows across the globe behind them. Carnivale at it’s beefiest, the boys’ vaudevillian show is set to be one of Fringe 2012′s big hitters.
You describe yourselves as “Burlesque with Balls” –what is that and how did the show come about?
Natano: Well it’s a sort of burlesque and it’s an all male cast, so we have balls. Essentially we love the art of tease. We were going to these burlesque nights in Brisbane and thinking “Girls get to do all the fun, and take their kit off, why don’t we do something like this.”
Fez: It was a bit of an unwanted child really. The whole idea was to put on a club night in Brisbane which would give us the opportunity to experiment and try out new acts and push it as far as we could. But we got an amazing response.
So what kind of a show is it?
Natano: There are no rules to what we do, there’s a bit of everything – burlesque, circus, drag, aerial, strip. It celebrates life and sexuality without it being gay sexuality, and still being a queer show.
Fez: In many ways it uses the old format of the variety show. The bottom line is that it’s entertaining. People can come and turn their brain off and just laugh or read whatever they will into it.
Why do you think audiences seem to love the show so much?
Fez: It celebrates the rawness of artists. The playfulness of the show is what I think audiences really like, it gives them the opportunity hear and see more than just a late night shit-hot cabaret act. The diversity of all the characters is really a celebration of the underdog.
Fez, you play Savannah, the love-child of the bearded lady and the ring-master. What’s your role as the MC?
Fez: I have the pleasure of inverting and subverting these amazing acts, luring the audience in a false direction, and then watch as people just lose their shit. It’s a bit of stand-up, a bit of a gender-bend drag act.
You seem to have a lot of crazy props and circus apparatus to bring around with you on tour. Which props are the biggest nuisance?
Fez: I wear lots of high heels for the show and I’m a size 17 so there are these giant high heels everywhere. But the main thing for me would be the 39 plates and the saucepans we carry around for Joe who does the strongman act.
Words: Roisin Agnew