Sneak peek inside Rocky's spectacular new cabaret pop-up
FROM the outside, it's easy to doubt the ability of one of the world's oldest Spiegeltents to take you away from the car park it's set up in.
Once you step inside though, it's a whole new world.
The 100-year-old Spiegelzelt has transformed the former Westpac car park into a decadent old-world night club, where spectacular cabaret and vaudevillian shows will dazzle crowds in intimate performances from some of Australia's best performers.
There are four shows on offer catering for every age; the Kermond 3 Gen Show, Spiegelesque, The Vaudevillians, and Boogie Nights.
The Kermond 3 Gen Show is, as the name suggests, three generations of performers adding up to a whopping 124 years of show business on stage.
Wayne Kermond, whose work directing Evita, Mary Poppins and Wicked will be familiar to Rockhampton audiences, is joined by his father Warren and son Zan.
As a fourth generation performer himself, Wayne said it was a fantastic experience to be on stage with his family.
As well as wowing the crowd with song and dance, 80-year-old Warren will also recount tales of his life in show business and his previous experience performing in a travelling tent show in Rockhampton.
"My dad was 60 years ago performing in a tent and now he's back here in Rockhampton reminiscing, performing in a wonderful Speigelzelt,” he said.
Wayne said the venue itself was "very special” and created a space where the audience was immersed in the show.
"The wonderful thing I know we as performers enjoy is the intimacy,” Wayne said.
"It's all right there in front of the audience's face so the audience feel like they're part of the show.
"It's almost like we're performing in their lounge room.
"But it's the most beautiful lounge room you've ever been in. It's amazing.”
Speigelesque, the headline act, was recently performed in Sydney while late night show The Vaudevillians, which is a little more risque, scored rave reviews at the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
"Rockhampton has become our second home, it really has,” said Wayne.
"But it's nice to actually be here as a performer.”
"I think it's very special. We live in a great country. It's a big country, but you get to meet wonderful people, unique people, diverse people.
"And as performers we're very fortunate that we get to travel and do that.
"But when you're in a theatre, or a venue like this, you could be anywhere in the world. At the end of the day it's about entertaining audiences.”
Those eager to learn from the best can also take a range of dance and circus skills workshops throughout the week, as Spiegelzelt stays on after River Festival.
Check out show times and buy tickets at rockhamptonriverfestival.com.au.