A little slice of Sydney’s Oxford Street comes to Edinburgh this festive season in this ice-cream sundae of a show. Fans of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert will not be disappointed. Drag is a dying artform and one that’s alien to chilly Scotland but Briefs presents it here in all its ‘tits and teeth’ glory.
The tropes of drag are almost as rigid as those of kabuki and we get them with knobs on here – from the emcee in the spike-heel, six-inch platforms to the pounding hi-NRG soundtrack (Madonna’s Vogue took me back to my disco years). This is a refreshing, rackety and raucous evening out that had the first night audience in feverish stag’n’hen mode. There’s outrageous frocks, kicksteps, follow-spots, heels-and-hair, bare bottoms and a sexy trapeze act.
Briefs is ‘a little bit of butch with a [expletive deleted]-load of camp on the side’. And it’s side-splittingly funny (especially when you’ve come straight from the office party). Yet, for all that it’s reliably safe. A little more in-your-face vulgarity would have added spicy seasoning.
There’s only a modicum of audience participation and none of the dreaded humiliation favoured by that Patron Saint of Aussie drag, Dame Edna. You could safely take your butch brother Norman or Aunt Agatha and they won’t be unduly offended. But give the dears a couple of large cherry brandies first.