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Spiegeltent in Canberra to host Empire, a show of physical feats

Fancy a show that’s both sexy and spectacular? Spiegelworld will pitch its spiegeltent in Civic in October to present Empire during its Australian  tour after a successful premiere season in New York.

Jesse Cain, who will be presenting Empire in Australia in assocation with impresario Ross Mollison, said the show featured 16 acts from around the world, ranging from quick-change artists to comedy to music.

‘‘Our cast includes a former Olympic gymnast and people who’ve worked in Cirque du Soleil.’’

They have worked with an Australian creative team including director Terence O’Connell and designer Angus Strathie, who won an Oscar for costume design for Moulin Rouge!

It is probably the physical feats that will prove the major attraction.

‘‘The act that without fail will astonish audiences, regardless of where we are, every night is risley, or foot-juggling ... It’s a spectacular act.’’


Black Flintstone lies on his back with his feet in the air and Big Mac Boy jumps on his feet and is kicked in the air while flipping and rotating.

‘‘There’s an audible gasp as the act keeps getting more and more intense. It ends with 50 backflips off the feet.’’

The show opens with Elena Lev-Bakkar in a clear perspex bubble suspended above the stage. She does contortions, spins hula hoops and hangs upside down.

‘‘It’s a magic ethereal moment.’’

And it ends with Memet Bilgin, the 3D Graffiti Guy, presenting what Cain said was, ‘‘the most unique circus act – it hasn’t been seen in Australia before’’, creating a self-supporting structure on stage, 14 branches balanced on a single feather.

And speaking of structures, the show is presented in a spiegeltent from Belgium that seats 700 people and is assembled from various materials including timber, glass and velvet – but no nails.

There’s an audible gasp as the act keeps getting more and more intense. It ends with 50 backflips off the feet.

Jesse Cain, Empire

‘‘It’s like a giant 3D jigsaw puzzle.’’

The Canberra Times is a media partner of Empire.

Empire runs from October 10 to 20 under the spiegeltent in Civic Square, London Circuit, Canberra. Performances Tuesday to Thursday at 8pm, Friday and Saturday at 7.30 and 9.30pm, Sunday at 7pm. Suitable for ages 15+.  Tickets $59-$149 on sale 9am Saturday, August 17.

Bookings: canberraticketing.com.au or 62752700 or ticketek.com.au