Spiegelesque: bawdy, hilarious, spellbinding and totally entertaining

A performer in "Spiegelesque". Image: thejoan.com.au.

Imagine the MC from Cabaret, a vaudeville comic and a Las Vegas headliner squished together into one sassy irrepressible live wire and what you’d get is Vayne. Vayne is the alter ego of Wayne Scott Kermond, the MC of Spiegelesque. He spoke with Rita Bratovich ahead of the upcoming Sydney season.

Spiegelesque debuted in 2016 in the famous Spiegeltent which had been set up in the Italian Forum, Leichhardt. Another company was actually producing it, but Kermond Creative Entertainment (Wayne Scott Kermond and his wife Katie Kermond) asked if they could take it on. 

“We redeveloped it and made it our own from that point. It’s changed a lot,” Wayne tells the Sentinel.

The Spiegeltent, with its authentic, old-world charm, helped establish the essential feel of the show, which is why the Kermonds kept ‘spiegel’ in the name. When they take the show to different venues, they try and recreate the space inside the Spiegeltent, which is why smaller rooms work best. The intimacy also suits the way Wayne Kermond as Vayne, likes to perform.

“I enjoy that interaction. I enjoy the fact that you break the fourth wall and you have a relationship with the audience, and we get to know people within that audience. I think what it does is it connects the audience with you and you with them. And you go on the journey for the next hour and a half together, which is lovely,” explains Kermond. 

Spieglesque stars Wayne Scott Kermond (in hat, centre). Image: Karen Watson/supplied.

One advantage a theatre has over a tent is that you can control the environment and you aren’t as susceptible to outside elements. When they were in the Spiegeltent in Leichhardt, the loud noise from planes flying over had to be incorporated into the show – to very comical effect. 

With a little more predictability in its surrounds, several seasons under its belt and lots of audience feedback, Spiegelesque has been tweaked to perfection. 

“It’s a much tighter show. It’s obviously very colourful and visual, and has great fun and comedy and great songs, and obviously all our cast are very multi-skilled when it comes to being able to sing and dance and tap dance and have circus skills,” says Kermond. 

Promotional video for Spiegelesque at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, from 17 to 26 June. Video: Kermond Creative/Vimeo.

The line-up includes performers from the original show, plus some new blood. Kermond says a lot of young people are entering into this form of entertainment. They enjoy the risk and thrill of spontaneity and the informality of being able to connect directly with an audience. For these same reasons, many young people are coming to see the show too. 

“It’s lovely to know we can sort of embrace a more traditional theatre-going audience as well as a new, younger audience who really love that energy and engagement of being part of the show as well as watching it,” explains Kermond. 

“Beyonce” from Spiegelesque. Image: Karen Watson/ supplied.

Though he didn’t fully realise it until he was 16, Kermond was destined to be an entertainer. He was born into a generations deep family of entertainers and was surrounded by show business, but it was only when he learned it was a viable career option that he fully committed.

“It was kind of an epiphany that I realised that my mum and dad were also making a living out of what they do. Because I’d grown up with it with my family and grandparents,” says Kermond. “You’d have a barbecue and people would juggle and acrobat down the driveway. I just thought that’s what people did!”

At the time, Kermond was an aircraft engineer apprentice with Hawker de Havilland. He loved it, but the choice to become an entertainer easily trumped it. 

“I left school at the end of Year 11. Finished on Friday, went to the theatre on Saturday and the rest is history.”

That history has included working alongside some of the biggest names in the business in some very successful shows. For Kermond, though, it’s all about living his passion.

“If you love what you do, it’s not a job.”

Spiegelesque is on from Thursday, 17 June to Saturday, 26 June at Riverside Theatres, Cnr Church and Market Streets, Parramatta. Tickets ($41 to $49 per person plus booking fees) and further info available at riversideparramatta.com.au/show/spiegelesque/.