Briefs: Bite Club, Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Performer at Briefs Bite Club with feathers
Photo: Lachlan Douglas

by Joanna Trainor

The first rule of Bite Club – tell absolutely everybody about Bite Club! Briefs Factory are back in Britain, and not a moment too soon. Feathers, wigs, exceptional headwear, soaking wet thongs, a man entirely covered in glitter – what more could you possibly want? Heartfelt sentiments and joy? Also check.

There is a noticeably different vibe at Bite Club from previous Briefs shows. Most notably they’ve been joined by sultry, Aussie songstress Sahara Beck who provides the music for each performer. There’s a real harmony between musician and act, and you can see the importance of their relationship with each other. And MC extraordinaire Shivannah makes a point of saying that after the last two years they needed to shift gears. They’re here to celebrate what we can get through, what our bodies can do and that’s what they damn well do. The tenderness in Dylan Rodriguez’s opening aerial performance alongside Beck’s beautiful song is genuinely moving and a clear illustration of how impressive our bodies can be. And you can’t write a Briefs review without mentioning the King of Burlesque, Captain Kidd. The hoops, the aerial work, the sparkly pink pants – you just can’t take your eyes off his showmanship.

Next month, Bite Club heads up to Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows at Edinburgh Fringe, and that venue feels like a bit of a better fit. Not that Briefs Factory don’t deserve the full-house audience at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, but inevitably as an end on stage it’s missing that closeness and interaction you get with the performers and audience in the round in a circus tent.

But bottom line, it’s joyous – go and see it.

Briefs: Bite Club runs until 27th August.

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