Arts & Entertainment

EMPIRE

When was the last time you went to the circus in an antique 700-seat spiegeltent and had to leave the kids at home?

There may be quirky costume routines, balancing acts and an MC, but is Speigelworld’s returning show Empire just another trip to the circus?

“No way,” says Memet Bilgin aka 3D Graffiti Guy.

“We’re part of a new wave of circus groups. It’s unique and intimate, with far more interaction between the audience and the performers.”

Despite the number of seats, the speigeltent is an intimate space, with a rising and rotating stage that often places the performers mere inches from the pack. Here they can watch routines that move from roller-skating to balancing upon a spinning top in a tent made of 3000 individual pieces.

With raunchy acrobatics, singing, dancing, drag and wicked comedy, how have Australian audiences responded to the show?

“The crowds range from extremely rowdy to utterly conservative,” Bilgin says.

“It’s exciting. You never really know what kind of energy everyone’s going to bring along.”

This adult-only fusion of vaudeville, burlesque, cabaret and circus promises to be a night out with a difference. (RG)

Jan 7-Mar 2, Showring, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park, $59-149, empireaustralia.com

BY RHYS GARD

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