Vass Productions and Kermond Creative are presenting the world premiere season of SPIEGEL’ESQUE, which kicks off tonight inside the 97-year-old Spiegel Zelt, the smallest spiegeltent in the world, in the piazza of Leichardt’s Italian Forum.
The show is billed as ‘part cabaret, part song and dance, part circus, and all decadent world class entertainment’ and will be hosted by acclaimed performer Wayne Scott Kermond. It also features a dazzling cast of entertainers including Peta Anderson, Angelique Brown, Zan Kermond, Dylan Mahoney, Sammy Jo Risteski, Chris Talbert, Kate Wilson and Ebony Wright.
Theatre People had the good fortune of catching up with Kermond to find out more about what audiences can expect from the intriguing SPIEGEL’ESQUE experience.
Theatre People: Can you tell me where the idea for SPIEGEL’ESQUE came about? We understand you’re a fourth generation performer, and acquired a diverse range of performing skills at an early age. Is SPIEGEL’ESQUE somewhat of an opportunity for you to revisit your roots as a performer?
Wayne Scott Kermond: I first performed in the SpiegelZelt two years ago in Melbourne and loved every moment. When Katie and I were asked by Vass Theatre Group to produce a new production in my home town Sydney, we jumped at it. The SpiegelZelt is full of history, charm, magic and mystique, she reeks of style. Being a fourth generation performer, I love the feeling of knowing that I’m performing in a tent that my family and my Vaudeville roots before me would have performed in … very special.
TP: To date, what would you say has been the most challenging aspect of bringing SPIEGEL’ESQUE together?
WSK: I wanted to create a show that not only shows off my versatility, history and skills as a performer, but we need to find young cast members that are all-rounders and multi skilled, as well as being able to perform in the intimate spiegeltent environment.
TP: Why, in 2016, does cabaret remain such an enticing form of theatrical entertainment?
WSK: I think young audiences love the nostalgia and the experience the SpiegelZelt gives you. The fact the performers are right there in your face means they can have a relationship with the performers. We break down the fourth wall, senses are heightened with a fun show full of variety plus a drink in your hand – it’s live entertainment at its best and you can’t beat it!
TP: You’ve been quoted as saying, about SPIEGEL’ESQUE, that “there is no other show like” it. What makes SPIEGEL’ESQUE such a unique experience?
WSK: It’s a show full of song, dance, comedy and sight acts – it’s variety theatre, a bit of ol school … my heritage.
TP: I understand a member of your family joins you on stage in SPIEGEL’ESQUE. Can you tell me about his involvement?
WSK: My wife Katie is co-producing, choreographing and directing the show, and our son Zan is performing in the show as well. It’s a family act. How lucky and privileged am I? Its always a thrill to be performing alongside our son onstage and working with my wife Katie.
TP: Is there a particular act/performance in SPIEGEL’ESQUE you’re especially excited for audiences to see?
WSK: It’s very hard for me to point out any one thing in the show that is a highlight as the show is a journey from start to finish for us, as performers, and also for the audience too. I love performing in this form of theatre as each show has an element of surprise and challenge, for both me and the audience.
TP: If someone hasn’t attended a cabaret show before but is keen to come along and find out what it’s all about, why would you say SPIEGEL’ESQUE makes a good first-time cabaret experience?
WSK: I would say SPIEGEL’ESQUE would be a great show to see for a first timer as it has something for everyone. Our show is fun, cheeky, and stylish, but a show for all ages. I’m not out to offend, but for an audience to be totally entertained … it’s just pure good ol entertainment with a capital E.
TP: Can you talk about what’s on the cards for you in 2017?
WSK: SPIEGEL’ESQUE will take me into Jan … Then I head over to Perth to perform in Hairspray The Big Fat Arena Spectacular, playing the role of Wibur as I have this year. Then I will direct a production of Wicked in Queensland with my wife Katie choreographing. We are looking at getting our production of Candy Man back touring next year and, also, going on tour with our show SPIEGEL’ESQUE around Oz and off shore.
SPIEGEL’ESQUE – SEASON DETAILS
Venue: Spiegel Zelt, Italian Forum Piazza, 23 Norton St, Leichhardt
Season: From 23 November
Performance Times: Wed-Sat 7pm and 9pm, Sun 5pm
Prices: From $49.90* / Private Booth (seats up to 6) from $250*
Bookings: ticketek.com.au or 132 849
Group Bookings: 1300 364 001
*Some transaction or credit card fees may apply