If you haven ’t experienced The Spiegeltent yet, you’re in for a treat. Named ‘De Parel Van Vuren’, which translates from Dutch as ‘The Pearl of Fire’, this travelling venue was built in 1905 and has been used through the 20th century as a dance hall, bar and entertainment salon.

The name ‘Spiegeltent ’ is Dutch for ‘mirror tent’ due to the hand made ‘architecture’ of wood, mirrors, canvas and leaded glass, with detailing in velvet and brocade.

In an unprecedented move and with the generous assistance of Lotterywest, the producers oF Fringe World negotiated the purchase of ‘The Pearl’, one of the few remaining Spiegeltents in the world, direct from its historical custodians, the Belgian Klessens family who have toured their Spiegeltents for five generations.

‘The Pearl’ has housed thousands of artists, audiences and exotic gatherings, the very essence of a festival club, ‘kabaret salon’ and intimate concert hall. Throughout history, iconic performers such as Marlene Dietrich, Charlie Chaplin and Gypsy Rose Lee have performed inside Spiegeltents.

Like every old theatre, her ghosts travel with her, woven into ballooning velvet canopies, circular teak dance floor and stained, cut-glass windows. Her intimate booths, ornate bar and bevelled mirror columns hold a million secrets while her chandelier, or sometimes her trapeze rig, swings overhead.

‘The Pearl’ is set to become a living legend in Western Australia and a significant feature at cultural events throughout the state in the future. Our very own Spiegeltent will house some incredible talent during Fringe World and beyond, but don’t be fooled – she is a star in her own right. Seeing is believing.

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