Boy-lesque and Christmas magic.
Burlesque ain’t a drag
Harry Clayton-wright performs in Briefs’ new burlesque-drag-circus show, Close Encounters.
What can you tell me about Briefs’ new show? What are the themes and what is the energy like?
As you may have guessed from the title – Close Encounters – there’s a strong sci-fi theme that runs through this show. The energy is still very much Briefs. An incredible soundtrack, impeccable skill, beautiful boys, circus, drag, feathers, dance… basically, you’re guaranteed to have a great night out.
What particular role do you play in the show?
I play a character called Delia Objectophilia. Her narrative in the show is such a fun thing for me to play out. I don’t wanna give too much away, but both she and I get to live our best lives on stage every night. Expect madcap comedy, that’s my forte.
In terms of the LGBTQIA+ community, how do you feel a troupe like Briefs helps bring art from this community to light?
Well, speaking personally, they’ve not only given me, a queer performance artist from Blackpool [United Kingdom], a platform to perform to international audiences but the opportunity to be part of making something that has pushed my practice beyond where I thought possible in presenting work as spectacle. And we get to perform in front of people who sometimes have no idea what they’re going to see, or might not think it’d be their thing, and in those cases the response is always so exciting and uplifting.
Do you feel like audience reactions to drag and burlesque have become more receptive over the years?
I definitely feel like with the rise of shows like Rupaul’s Drag Race, we’re living in a time where drag is at the forefront of public consciousness, which is such a brilliant thing. Especially when you think about current political climates. It’s an antidote. But it’s because of this rise, audiences are more aware of the craft and skill that goes into this art form, which makes for greater appreciation.
Briefs: Close Encounters, Tue 21 Nov-sat 9 Dec, Q Theatre