Left – Angelique Brown and Chris Talbot. Cover – Wayne Scott Kermond and cast. Photos – Michael Anderson
A funny thing happens in the bay of the Forum.
A nigh on hundred year old tent from Belgium, a Spiegel Zelt, with mirror lined walls, stained glass windows and lush drapery has landed like some theatrical Tardis in Leichardt’s Italian Forum courtyard. Inside, the real world dissolves and we are thrust into an “other world”, a bygone era of cabaret and burlesque, vulgar vaudeville and feats of physical artistry.
Emcee “Vayne” delivers jokes as old as Methuselah in a faux Weimar accent and banters with the crowd in an avowed disrespect for political correctness, though not nearly as disrespectful as the businessman bozo sitting in the front row on opening night blatantly checking his phone through the opening performance. No double barrage of berating from Vayne seemed to faze the phone Philistine, who mercifully vacated to fondle his phone out of the glare of performers and audience.
Fair cop then when Vayne swooped on a couple of late comers, dragging them up on stage for a public pillorying.
Audience participation aside, the show, called Spiegel’esque, hurtles along, living up to its hybrid name with tits and arse song and dance routines, including a fan dance and a Can Can, slapstick comedy and some graceful aerial work by Angelique Brown and Chris Talbot.
In amongst the splits and high kicks, the feathers and sequins, there's a prodigious joie de vivre from the ensemble of dancers, Kate Wilson, Peta Anderson, Sammy Jo and Ebony Wright, each having wide ranging proficiency from tap to twerk.
Spiegel’esque is a true blue, blue joke, Bluebell girls family affair with Wayne Scott Kermond starring as the cheeky, cheerful Vayne, a sort of Joel Grey/Frankie Howard hybrid, son Alexander supporting Dad, (and fellow capering clown, Dylan Mahoney) in slapstick, song and hoofing, and direction and choreography from wife and mother, Katie Kermond.
Being a “born in the trunk, fourth generation performer,” Kermond has included a couple of contrasting showbiz anthems – Mr. Bojangles in a very personal and poignant rendition, and Noel Coward's Why Must The Show Go On?, performed by the show's pianist, Andrew Freeborn.
Armed with a larrikin charm that's disarming, Spiegel'esque enchants with its nudge, nudge, wink, wink bow to a bygone era.
Vass Productions and Kermond Creative present
Venue Spiegel Zelt | Italian Forum Piazza, 23 Norton St, Leichhardt
Dates: from 23 November 2016
Times: Wed-Sat 7pm and 9pm, Sun 5pm
Tickets: from $49.90* | Private Booth (seats up to 6) from $250*
Bookings: ticketek.com.au | 132 849