A massive arts and entertainment hub has landed in Geelong

A massive arts and entertainment hub has landed in Geelong

Photo: John Stapels
Words by Tammy Walters

Johnstone Park, Geelong has been transformed into a full-blown culmination of the arts and entertainment as Spiegeltent Geelong makes its debut.

Three years in the making, the iconic Aurora Spiegeltent will call Geelong home for the entirety of June, boasting a stellar lineup of comedy, music, cabaret, dance, and mystifying acrobatic acts.

It has been off to a strong start so far with the worldwide sensation, and Madonna-approved headline show, LIMBO. Where death-defying stunts, gut-wrenching contortions, and incomprehensible acrobatics intertwine onstage, LIMBO has been leaving Geelong audiences gasping with shows selling fast for the remainder of the month.

“LIMBO has been to 17 countries, it’s played over 1000 performances all around the world, and wherever we do it, people love it. Because of the fire and the energy from the music it’s a great winter time addition and it’s just a great first outing in the tent.

“If you’ve never been to a Spiegeltent show before, LIMBO will certainly leave you with an unforgettable experience,” says creative director Scott Maidment.

“So far the response has been kind of overwhelming. The tent looks amazing on that site,” he continues. “Already there is a buzz in the air and it makes us feel like we’ve made the right decision in bringing the tent to Geelong.”

They say good things come in threes, and Spiegeltent is definitely producing the goods with their standout musical offerings. Three female powerhouse legends, Renée Geyer, Ella Hooper and Kate Ceberano were carefully selected to join the lineup, gracing the Spiegeltent stage for solo performances on Sunday June 9, Sunday June 16 and Thursday June 20 respectively. 

“It’s not just because they are female. It’s because they are at the top of their game and they are amazing to see in the Spiegeltent. Same thing with Judith Lucy – she is an amazing powerhouse woman. It’s those kinds of acts that you should get in there and see,” Maidment says.

“We always want to present a diverse range of acts in the tent and try to find something for all demographics, but also people get to see these performers up close and personal because the stage isn’t very far away from the back row.

“In this environment, the audience is really part of the action. The amazing environment of the velvet curtains and the stain glass windows and the mirrors in the tent really make it special, not just for the audience but for the performers as well.”

Alongside Judith Lucy’s already sold-out show, Australian comedy gold Joel Creasey, Tom Gleeson and Tom Ballard are set to make cheeks sore, bellies ache and tears roll down faces.

Eurovision host-with-the-most, Joel Creasey, is catering for the millennials with his NSFW show Drink. Slay. Repeat. while Tom Gleeson will spark more glee than Marie Kondo in Joy. Tom Ballard will also be on hand, bringing his very candid show Enough to the Geelong tent.   

The entertainment doesn’t stop there. Dance crew and YouTube viral sensations, Djuki Mala will bring their high energy, while the wildly hysterical Carlotta: Queen of the Cross is set to serve up a dish of her Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-inspired cabaret.

“We’re pretty proud of the program of shows as well. With Kate Ceberano and Renée Geyer and Ella Hooper, there’s a great music program as well as some of those amazing comedians.

“When I was there the other night LIMBO was getting a standing ovation, so we’re really happy with it so far. But there is only a couple of weeks to go so I really encourage people to jump in now because it will disappear before they know it,” Maidment says.

Given the overwhelmingly positive response so far, Maidment confirms there is scope for a return in 2020.

See music, dance, comedy and theatre enliven Geelong at The Spiegeltent in Johnstone Park until Sunday June 23 (excluding Mondays). Explore the program and grab your tix at spiegeltentgeelong.com.