EMPIRE by Spiegelworld is currently wowing audiences in Sydney during its return season under the spiegeltent. Melbourne thrill-seekers only have five weeks to wait until the show returns to the Rooftop at Crown where it will play from March 11th, 2014.
Since EMPIRE was last in Melbourne, several new artists have joined the cast. Contortionist Lucia Carbines has taken over the role of Miss A in a Bubble, performing the iconic aerial sphere act as well as a brand new, specially-created contortion act. Growing up in Queensland, Carbines is the only Australian performer in the international cast. American singer Victoria Matlock has taken over the role of Miss Purple, while Ukrainians Vlad Ivashkin and Aiusha Khadzh Khamed are now performing the beautiful hand-to-hand adagio act in their roles as Carrot Man and Lime Green Lady.
Presented in Spiegelworld's 700-seat antique spiegeltent, EMPIRE smashes the boundaries of circus, cabaret, vaudeville and burlesque, reinventing the genres for a 21st century audience. Featuring the sexiest, most daring artists from across the globe, the show had its world premiere season in New York City during the summer of 2012, where it was the first tented show ever seen in Times Square.
Since EMPIRE opened its Australian tour in Sydney in January of 2013, it has been seen by over 170,000 people around the country, with rave reviews, sold out performances and standing ovations. EMPIRE was created by the Melbourne born and raised Ross Mollison with an all-star Australian creative team including director Terrence O'Connell (numerous Australian comedy greats at The Last Laugh in Melbourne through to Circus Oz), choreographer John -Cha Cha' O'Connell (Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby), and costume designer Angus Strathie (Academy Award for Moulin Rouge).
Spiegelworld is also currently presenting Absinthe on the forecourt of Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, where it is now in its fourth sold-out year. Spiegelworld's latest creation, Vegas Nocturne, recently opened at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
Review: I didn't know quite what to expect from EMPIRE by Spiegelworld before attending but after leaving I was well and truly blown away by each and every performer – the show certainly exceeded every one of my expectations!
As soon as you step foot into the Spiegeltent on the Rooftop at Crown you are transformed into a creatively constructed performance. Before the show begins we are cleverly reminded that this is no Cirque du Soleil; EMPIRE by Spiegelworld is far more sexy, engaging and breathtaking.
These daring performers showcase their unbelievable skills without missing a single beat right in front of your eyes (literally, they're basically in the crowd, with you); they're strong, superb and of course, sensual. Entertaining is an understatement especially as I found myself holding my breath, numerous times throughout the show.
I don't want to give too much away because I really think EMPIRE by Spiegelworld is best left as a surprise… but do keep in mind EMPIRE by Spiegelworld cannot be missed.
- Brooke Hunter
EMPIRE by Spiegelworld
From March 11 2014
Under the spiegeltent on the Rooftop at Crown, access via Level 3, Whiteman Street, Southbank.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 7:30pm Tue/Wed/Thu: $59.00 - $129.00*
Friday & Saturday 7:30pm & 9:30pm Fri/Sat/Sun: $69.00 - $149.00*
*A special VIP Ticket is available which includes seating in the front two rows, and a complimentary beverage.
Victoria was last seen on Broadway in Million Dollar Quartet as Dyanne. She's also starred in Wicked (Elphaba), Evita, The Full Monty, The First Wives Club, The Marvelous Wonderettes (both in the original cast and cast album) and more. She graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a major in Musical Theatre and a minor in Computer Science (so Dad would pay the bills). She also owns a photography business, designs jewelry, makes clothing and purses, and designs web sites.
Question: How would you describe Empire by Spiegelworld?
Victoria Matlock: Empire is an extremely entertaining evening packed with humour, circus acts and of course, awesome live music!
Question: What should audiences expect from the show?
Victoria Matlock: Audiences should expect a well-rounded evening full of laughs, beauty and amazement.
Question: What inspired you to take on the role of Miss Purple?
Victoria Matlock: I love that as Miss Purple I get to sing so many different styles and challenge myself vocally. I also enjoy traveling and have loved coming to Australia for the first time.
Question: What is involved in your role as Miss Purple?
Victoria Matlock: As Miss Purple I obviously get to do a lot of singing while the amazing acts are going on, but I also get my own moment to shine. I sing rock and roll, pop, and even some New Age. It's a lot of fun.
Question: How long have you been rehearsing these?
Victoria Matlock: I actually didn't have very long to rehearse. Only a few days. But once you know the show, you can just relax and have fun doing it every night.
Question: How have your previous roles helped you prepare for the role as Miss Purple?
Victoria Matlock: I think the roles I've had before have helped me understand my voice inside and out, so when I'm doing some of the more challenging rock and roll stuff I don't hurt myself. I know how to conserve and when to really rock it out!
Question: What do you enjoy most about playing the role of Miss Purple in Empire by Spiegelworld?
Victoria Matlock: I love being in a company of such talented and dedicated performers…they're truly some of the best.
Question: What is most difficult about travelling with Empire by Spiegelworld?
Victoria Matlock: I miss home, for sure. I only recently moved to Los Angeles, so I miss home and my friends and family. I'm sure my boyfriend would like me to say the most difficult thing is being away from him!
Question: How does performing in Empire by Spiegelworld differ from your Broadway performances?
Victoria Matlock: It's actually similar in a lot of ways. I'm surrounded by top notch performers and an outstanding crew. I guess the biggest difference is being in a company that's so diverse, culturally. It's really fun getting to know people from all over the globe.
Question: How do you prepare for a show like Empire by Spiegelworld?
Victoria Matlock: It's really important to take care of yourself when your body is your instrument, so I make sure I eat right and exercise, and get plenty of sleep. I also drink a lot of water to keep my voice hydrated.
Question: Do you have any pre-stage rituals?
Victoria Matlock: I usually just make sure I'm vocally warmed up and stretch out physically. Nothing spooky or anything.
Interview by Brooke Hunter