The beautiful and luxurious traveling Belgian Spiegeltent is currently pitched in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter.
Spiegelworld has brought the hugely successful show Empire to New Zealand, a show that first debuted in New York City during the summer of 2012, where it was the first tented show ever seen in Times Square.
This extraordinary night of millennial circus fun allows for an up close and intimate experience for the audience, with seating in the round right up to the stage, or set back in a plush velvet booth. Stained-glass windows, wooden floors and sparkling mirrors will transport you away from any back-to-work blues you may be experiencing, into the crazy, sexy fun world of Empire.
The entertainment starts when you take your seat as various silly shenanigans take place that give you just a glimpse of what’s about to happen.
The show opens with a clear perspex bubble hanging from the ceiling containing Miss A, aka Lucia Carbines. She contorts herself around inside, and as the sphere opens she can hang, balance and stretch above the audience. The perfect awe inspiring opening to let us all see the level of talent we would experience.
The show features an excellently chosen soundtrack, as well as live accompanying musicians, giving us the cherry on top of this cabaret.
The Gorilla Girls – Alina Reutska, Kateryna Rudenko, Alona Stekolnikova –Photo credit: Danielle Colvin
Next up where our hosts for the evening Oscar and Fanny, Jonathan Taylor and Anne Goldmann. Now, their quick change routine is unlike any I’ve seen before, and it was both hilarious and excellently executed.
If you’re seated ringside, there are a few bits of audience interaction during the night much to everyone’s delight, except maybe said audience members!
The show is packed with such wonderful acts that it’s difficult to single any out. Each act could be the finale. Real show stoppers, every one.
From a nail biting point of view the roller skaters, Blue Tarpoleon and Polka Dot Woman (Denis Petaev and Mariia Beisembetova), perform a high speed eye-popping routine on the tiny stage that really seems impossible.
The athleticism of the performers is incomprehensible to us mere mortals, and each display is completed with such beauty, as with the Gorilla Girls (Alina Reutska, Kateryna Rudenko, Alona Stekolnikova), who create perfectly balanced human pyramids.
A slow and intense act is that of the 3D Graffiti Guy (Memet Bilgin Rigolo) whose precision and concentration creates a free standing structure balanced on only a feather!
Oscar and Fanny return to cause lots of laughs throughout the show, but my highlight was an act with a banana. It has to be seen to be believed.
You won’t get a more fun and transportive show that this. It’s 90 minutes of full on hilarity, with gasp inducing acts that turn the circus up to 11.
Reviewed by Ingrid Grenar
Featured image Photo credit: Danielle Colvin.