PERTH was the first city outside the Briefs boys’ hometown of Brisbane to embrace their adults-only cabaret act and celebrate the diversity of its performers.
Briefs creative director and MC Fez Faanana will never forget this fact, which is what brought the boy-lesque group back to Fringe World Festival 2017 for the sixth time.
However, this year their line-up of adult frivolity in shows Briefs and Club Briefs has been joined by the child-friendly Brat Kids Carnival.
Faanana said the newest show not only helped to expand their demographic and maximised their festival presence but followed their ethos of equality.
“We had this discussion about how unfair it was that kids don’t get to join in on the anarchy of late night cabaret,” he said.
“And that kids could probably do with some entertainment and theatre that wasn’t patronising.
“We’ve been working on this show on and off for almost four years and it was only last year that we got it to a point where it felt like we’ve hit the mark.
“Unlike some of our other works which we like to make politically challenging, I just want kids to cut loose and have fun.”
Faanana said everyone from the Briefs cast had a family-friendly version of their act for Brat Kids Carnival and he swapped his usual drag attire to a sparkly tracksuit for his hosting duties.
“I’m still trying to figure out how to introduce drag into a children’s show while parents can be comfortable and kids aren’t disruptive,” he said.
“But I still have a bit of makeup on, over-accessorise and become a larger-than-life character, which is essentially what drag is.”
Acts range from hula hoops and aerial to skipping, acrobatics and cheeky clowning. Faanana even gets to have a dance.
“We’re in the same spiegeltent that we’re doing the main show and ideally we would like the kids to sit around the stage and encourage parents to sit in the booths and let their children interact with each other,” he said.
“I just have this dream of having all the kids on mini cabaret tables with mini mocktails and battery-operated candles, wearing top hats. I would love to do that one day and Perth would be the perfect place to do it.
“My parents were quite strict so my birthday parties were mundane; I think I’m reliving my childhood parties the way I wanted them.”
What: Brat Kids Carnival
Where: Salon Perdu Spiegeltent, The Pleasure Garden, Northbridge
When: 3.30pm, February 18-19