Wayne Scott Kermond and the cast of Panache.
Wayne Scott Kermond and the cast of Panache. Allan Reinikka ROK110719apanache

Behind the scenes: Panache stars reveal what's in store

BRINGING the glitz and glamour of burlesque and a dash of charming vaudeville humour, Panache is sure to be one of Adani Rockhampton River Festival's biggest attractions this year.

Mesmerising, daring and quirky, the delicious theatrical performance showcases Rockhampton talent, hand-picked by the creative genius behind Spiegelesque, Wayne Kermond.

Donning a glittery blue tuxedo coat and grinning with impish delight from beneath his top hat, Mr Kermond transforms into the French/German performer and MC, Vayne, as he hits the stage and sidles up to his piano.

"(Panache is) a cabaret with fabulous song, dance and comedy and there will be acts that do a little bit of flying. It's contemporary, but with a touch of old world," Mr Kermond said.

"We've been coming up to Rockhampton for the last five years doing productions.

"Recently we choreographed Kinky Boots, then before that we did We Will Rock You and Wicked and so forth.

"We've had the great opportunity working with wonderful talent in Rockhampton and we've asked a few of those to be involved in Panache."

The Customs House venue was lit up with lights on Thursday morning as the cast teased a lucky few with a fanciful preview of the show which will run July 12-20.

Mr Kermond said the inclusion of local talent was a way of not only paying "homage" to cabaret but also to the local community and talent in Rockhampton.

"It's been challenging but fun, and it's been wonderful having their energy and excitement in the show," he said.

"We've been doing this for a few months now with the cast coming up from Sydney and we've got the Rockhampton cast.

"It's been quite intense. We've been doing 12-14 hour days.

"It's been fantastic and it's going to be a wonderful show. People will be disappointed if they don't see it."


Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow said this year there will be a few surprises in store for attendees to River Festival as well as many familiar favourites from previous years.

"There will be a great big Ferris Wheel, 26m of it, down in front of the Empire, along with a whole new play space for children, Adventure Land, with workshops and activities for children.

"There will be a few things to have your photo taken with, an amazing display in the river with the water jets at 6.30pm, 7.30pm and 8.30pm... which are bigger and more sophisticated.

"We're unveiling The Barramundi which has been created by local Indigenous artists on the sides of the lift.

"There will be characters and illuminated figures hanging around looking forward to opportunities to have a photo with you."

There will be plenty of Instagrammable moments, and Mayor Strelow has encouraged people to share their snaps online.

"Let's make sure the rest of the world knows what an amazing place this city is."

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