Boogong Masthead

The Famous Spiegeltent: 10 shows you can’t miss

Laura Peppas

Roll-up, roll-up: The Famous Spiegeltent hits Civic this month! With a huge range of shows, there’s something for everyone; from jazz-lovers, thrill-seekers and kids. We narrow down 10 highlights. 

1. La Clique  

La Clique.

La Clique. Photo: Supplied.

Shocking, spectacular and steamy, La Clique is the feature show of The Famous Spiegeltent and aims to completely redefine cabaret with vocal, dance and acrobatic performances. Born in 2003, it has gone on to scoop a host of awards, thanks to its fantastic array of dangerously charismatic characters skilled in the dark arts of magic, burlesque, acrobatics and death-defying aerial feats. This is definitely one that will have you gripping your seat.

2. Burlesque Idol

Burlesque Idol.

Burlesque Idol. Photo: Supplied.

Like a good dose of humour with your theatre? Burlesque Idol could be your best bet. Every show features a comedian host, three judges and of course, a dazzling array of rising burlesque talents. Founded in 2010 in London by Lola LaBelle, the show continues to run in the West End under the creative direction of Miss Tempest Rose. With six years in London, shows in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and now a third national tour of Australia, Burlesque Idol is among the world’s largest burlesque competitions. There’s also prizes for the best dressed audience member, so frock up!

3. Mikelangelo & the Black Sea Gentleman

Mikelangelo & the Black Sea Gentleman.

Mikelangelo & the Black Sea Gentleman. Photo: Supplied.

Get ready to be drawn into the deep, dark heart of the impeccably coiffed, master crooners Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen. The band have been touring and recording together for 15 years, including hundreds of shows in the Spiegeltent, from Montreal to Edinburgh, and Sydney to Budapest. They return to their hometown of Canberra for two stunning shows featuring songs from their new album After The Flood, drawing on the thriving cross-cultural melting pot of music, food and language of the Snowy Hydro Electric Scheme of the 1950s and 60s.

4. Noir Revue

Noir revue124

Noir Revue. Photo: Supplied.

Produced by international showgirl Sarina de Fuego, Noir Revue is like stepping back in to the age of jazz or a musical, full of tragic beauties, sinister fellows and dames you wouldn’t want to mess with. Film Noir-inspired, the show is blues-soaked cabaret with a live band and narration by an unseen detective. Featuring aerials, cabaret burlesque, a blues crooner and film, Noir Revue has played at Festivals and clubs throughout Australia, as well as the Famous Spiegeltent in the Old Parliament House Rose Gardens in 2013 to a sell out audience. Book early!

5. The Great Big Story Book

The Great Big Story Book.

The Great Big Story Book. Image: Supplied.

The Great Big Story Book is a colourful comedy show based on the famous Aboriginal legend of Tiddalik the Frog. Performed within a beautiful 3D pop-up storybook, this much-loved dreamtime story tells of a frog who drinks all the water in the world. The 45-minute play addresses conservation and environmental issues through a range of themes relating to the wonders of water, while performers sing songs and narrate the story using delightful puppet characters that engage the audience in an unforgettable interactive theatre experience.

6. Vince Jones

Vince Jones

Vince Jones. Photo by Y Yoneda.

One for the jazz-lovers, Vince Jones returns to Canberra with a sensational repertoire and exceptional band. As one of Australia’s leading jazz vocalist/composers, Vince uses his voice as an expressive instrument and the lyric as a vehicle for story and comment. Over the years his style has developed a distinctive reserve and subtlety – a brief, thoughtful solo from Vince is worth a hundred notes played with less discretion. Take a date and soak up the smooth tunes with a post-show glass of wine or two.

7. Dolly Diamond – Alive and Intimate

Dolly Diamond.

Dolly Diamond. Photo: Supplied

After sell out performances at the Sydney Mardi Gras, Adelaide’s Feast Festival and Tasmania’s Pride Festival, Dolly Diamond is taking her “wickedly funny” cabaret show to Canberra. Originally from the UK, Dolly Diamond now calls Australia home, but continues to circle the globe performing in cabarets, special events, charities and festivals. With a voice described as “honey over gravel,” she takes her audience on a magical journey over the rainbow, and leaves them way up high.

8. Baby et Lulu

Baby et Lulu.

Baby et Lulu. Photo: Supplied

Audiences will feel as if they’ve been transported to Paris when Baby et Lulu take to the stage. The ARIA winning partnership of much loved artistes Abby Dobson – ‘Baby’ (Leonardo’s Bride) and Lara Goodridge – ‘Lulu’ (FourPlay) have recorded a second selection of classic and contemporary chansons, as well as, for the first time, a number of their own original compositions written in French. Fantastique!

9. The Naughty Rhythms 

The Naughties123

The Naughties. Photo: Facebook.

Described as reggae on steroids, “The Naughties” deliver an unswerving set of catchy originals peppered with classics from bands like The Specials and Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Originally a four-piece band, The Naughties can swell to any number with an array of musicians and singers who join them on stage, as happened at the band’s sell-out 2013 Famous Spiegeltent performance in the Rose Garden. It’s a show full of energy, and for a bunch of guys who have been around for so long, they still go hard.

10. Steve Poltz

Steve Poltz. Image: Supplied.

Steve Poltz. Image: Supplied.

A master of improvisational songwriting, Steve Poltz can take an unsuspecting audience from laughter to tears and back again in the space of a single song. With no two shows alike, Steve works without a set list to be free to react instantly to the mood of a room.


the essentials 

What: The Famous Spiegeltent
Where: Civic Square
When: 19 February – 14 March


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author

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