Empire by Spiegelworld

December 20, 2013 by Deb Meyer
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’10 out of 10’ (Sun Herald), ‘the best show I’ve seen in years’ (Sydney Morning Herald), ‘the best sex of my life and I wasn’t even involved’ (Brisbane Times). It’s not every day that a show comes to town that arouses that kind of excitement!…writes Deb Meyer.

Inside the tent

Inside the tent

Whether it’s the supremely athletic and talented, international cast, the mind boggling acts or the sumptuous venue, EMPIRE received standing ovations when it was last in Sydney with a sold out season.

Presented in Spiegelworld’s 700-seat antique spiegeltent, EMPIRE smashes the boundaries of circus, cabaret, vaudeville and burlesque, reinventing the genres for a 21st century audience. According to the media release, EMPIRE is said to boast the sexiest and greatest international talent ever assembled in one tent, with performers from Australia, America, Canada and Russian, as well as the Ukraine, Japan and Ethiopia

According to Jonathan Taylor, the show’s MC Oscar (a vaudevillian clown based on Florenz Zigfeld, the legendary American Jewish theatre producer), despite the language barriers and cultural differences, they are a happy touring family after being on tour for a year.

According to Taylor, the upcoming show is even more tightly polished and streamlined than last year and with some obvious differences.  With a stellar Australian creative team of director Terence O’Connell, choreographer John ‘Cha Cha’ O’Connell (Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby), and costume designer Angus Strathie (Academy Award for Moulin Rouge), there are different costumes and choreography and a new act and production number.

This year the show centres around the city of New York, with the characters, costumes and music all celebrating the city and its eccentricities.

When discussing Jewish influences in the show, Taylor mentions the Jewish roots of Vaudeville and highlights that his co-clown in the show and wife of 16 years, Anne Goldmann, has a Jewish father whose sense of humour and frequent (often dirty) jokes had a huge influence on her career.

ballAfter reading the schedule of acts in EMPIRE, you’d need a good sense of humour performing like they do every night – 8 to 10 times a week and travelling to over 36 countries together over the years, not to mention performing their act of spitting bananas back and forth into each other mouths! Definitely not raised by a Jewish mother! Funny thing is, being a “absurd, crazy and wild” in their professional life, Taylor admits the two clowns are very different to their on stage persona and very ordinary, enjoying nothing more than sipping tea, walking in nature, listening to birds and patting their cat.

That’s exactly what it seems makes EMPIRE so unique – having highly professional, skilled and polished performers, along with a talented and dedicated creative team, co-creating an international “theatrobatic adventure”, as they call it, that’s riveting, raunchy, entertaining and eccentric. Well, that and performing in the beautiful, opulent venue that is the famous Spiegeltent.

After their successful season in Newcastle, the cast now have 3 weeks off before heading to Sydney. With the festive season well under way, full houses looming, and a show bound to be high energy, seductive and a lot of fun, Sydney’s summer is only going to get hotter!



Due to popular demand, Spiegelworld have announced that EMPIRE will extend its 2014 Sydney summer season for a further three weeks. Tickets for the new shows go on sale today, Friday December 20.


Empire by Spiegelworld

Venue: Under the Spiegeltent, Showring at the Entertainment Quarter, 122 Land Road Moore Park Sydney

Dates: January 7 – February 16, 2014

Performances: Tues/Wed – 7.30pm, Thu/Fri/Sat – 7.30pm & 9.30pm, Sun – 7pm

Tickets: Tues/Wed/Thur – $59- $129*, Fri/Sat/Sun – $69 -$149*

*A special VIP Ticket is available which includes seating in the front two rows and a complementary beverage

Bookings: www.ticketek.com.au


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