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Byron Shire
April 15, 2024

It is a weekend of excitement, fun and laughter for everyone at the National Circus Festival

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Jex Lopez on the ivories, Spiegeltent owner, David Bates and Ringmaster, Alice Cadwell, all take the unparalleled opportunity to step into the fantasy and delights of The Famous Spiegeltent, which is now set up for the National Circus Festival at the Mullumbimby Showgrounds. This weekend, there will be fun for all the family, from the Circus Olympics to 18+ Cheeky Cabaret shows. Get your ticket at www.nationalcircusfestival.com.
Photo Jeff ‘Shpiegel Intent’ Dawson

It truly is like stepping into another world as you enter The Famous Spiegeltent which is here for the National Circus Festival that is taking place this weekend in Mullumbimby. It is beautiful, and elegant and takes you to another time where you can revel in fun, and music and be entertained by a mix of local and international talent throughout the weekend.

Built in the 1920s this is one of the few remaining legendary ‘tent of mirrors’ and reflects the sumptuous elegance of the period it came into being and will create an intimate setting for Jex who is opening the show on Friday night and our own Cheeky Cabaret from the Brunswick Picture House who will be performing there on Friday and Saturday evening.

Marlene Dietrich may have sung ‘Falling In love Again’ on The Famous Spiegeltent stage in the 1930’s and it is a regular feature of the Edinburgh Festival but owner David Bates said ‘We have the best crew in the world here in Mullumbimby because so many people here have a connection to The Famous Spiegeltent.’

Festival Director Alice Cadwell, Spiegeltent owner David Bates and Jex with performers at The Famous Spiegeltent will see plenty of fun on display over this weekend’s National Circus Festival. Photo Jeff Dawson

From Festival Director Alice Cadwell to Cheeky Caberets Brett Haylock their connection runs deep. 

‘I started working in the Spiegeltent 19 years ago,’ says Alice whose partner is Tent Boss. 

‘While I’ve stopped touring our eldest took their first steps in the Spiegeltent when they were nine months old. Having the Spiegeltent her is like a homecoming, there are so many connections, collaborations and beginnings that the Spiegeltent has been part of.’

With his irrepressible smile David emphasises how much of a family place the Spiegeltent is 

‘So many people have a deep connection with the Spiegeltent from Edinburgh and Brighton to Toronto to Melbourne. We used to go to Edinburgh every year but we haven’t been to the UK since 2016. We are hoping to be back at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for our next birthday of 103,’ said David excitedly. 

The Famous Spiegeltent will see a mix of family and adult fun on display over this weekends National Circus Festival. Photo Jeff Dawson

‘What is amazing is that a band could be playing in Edinburgh and just five weeks later the same artists in the same stage are playing 12,000 miles away creating the whole vibe and feeling that is exactly the same.’

David’s 17-year-old daughter has headed to Mullumbimby for the weekend festivities and he says like here there are many children and adults here that have had the Spiegeltent as part of their lives. 

‘There will be some great shows over the weekend for kids and adults alike,’ says Alice. 

‘The whole site has been really buzzing with over 400 people here training this week. It has been amazing that the tiny circus has been able to put on such a huge event. There are great family shows, there is the Good Catch Circus with three generations of women working together, the Cheeky Cabaret and more.’

Making the weekend accessible to everyone you can buy daily tickets for as little as $25 for kids or a weekend pass that gets you into all the shows and events. Pick up a ticket at www.nationalcircusfestival.com.


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