A Largely Fanciful History Of The Spiegeltent

“A Largely Fanciful History Of The Spiegeltent” is comprised of a dozen songs, and was performed for the first time in a two-night run as part of (indeed, commissioned by) the Melbourne International Arts Festival in 2008. It’s, um, a largely fanciful history of the Spiegeltent – ostensibly covering from the 1920s to the tent’s revival of the 1990s-’00s. The show made its debut (and very shortly thereafter held its closing night) in the Parel Van Vuren, a Belgian spiegeltent from the 1920s.

So, officially, it opened on October 11th, 2008 and closed on October 12th, 2008. That’s what’s known as a “compact season”. It may return in a longer form someday; I like quite a few of the songs, and indeed a couple of them made their way into the 2009 cabaret “Evening”.

The cast for the run was:
Vincenzo Ruberto – Bass
Ben Hendry – Drums
Ross McFerran – Guitar
Iain Grandage – Cello, Accordian, Piano
Enio Pozzebon – Piano, Accordian, Glockenspiel, Vocals (“Escape”)
Carlo Barbaro – Tenor Saxophone
Andrew Hammon – Trombone
Nick Wilkins – Trumpet
Andrew McClelland – “Oscar Mols Dom” – Vocals (“The Mirror”)
Aurora Kurth – “Leila Montesano-Jones” – Vocals (“Destination Anywhere”, “Underneath”)
Otto Rot – “The Spiegelhost” – Vocals (“Show, Don’t Tell”)
Mike McLeish – “The Bartender” – Vocals (“Down To The Dregs”)
Scott Edgar – “Simon Barfoot” – Vocals (“Come Around”)
Eddie Perfect – “David Bates” – Lead Vocals (“The Reviver”)
Esther Hannaford & Rosemarie Harris – Backing Vocals (“The Reviver”)
Casey Bennetto – Mandolin, Piano, “Fred Sinatra” – Vocals (“As We Go”, “Swing”, “Mister Sandman”, “Fantastic”)

Horns for “As We Go”, “Swing”, “Come Around” and “Fantastic” were arranged brilliantly by Scott Edgar; horns and BVs for “The Reviver” were arranged wonderfully by Eddie Perfect; and horns for “Escape” and “Down To The Dregs” were arranged somewhat indifferently (by comparison) by me.

The song list:
01) As We Go
02) The Mirror
03) Destination Anywhere
04) Show, Don’t Tell
05) Swing
06) Underneath
07) Escape
08) Mister Sandman
09) Down To The Dregs
10) Come Around
11) The Reviver
12) Fantastic

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