It evokes the sense of a different time, and it’s no wonder. The Famous Spiegeltent, with its mirrored interiors, is one of the few remaining of the Belgian originals made during the 1930s.

After four days of construction in the forecourt of the Arts Centre Melbourne, the Famous Spiegel Season launches today (7 February) bringing with it 10 weeks of festivities.

Expect thrills and spills, music and mayhem, with a program packed with more than a hundred international performers and some famous Australian acts performing about 250 shows on the historic stage.

For music lovers, former Concrete Blonde frontwoman Johnette Napolitano’s Self Portrait 2012 is one for the diary, while local musicians including Tex Perkins, Tim Rogers, Claire Bowditch and Renee Geyer will all raise the roof during the season.

Other highlights include La Vie by Canada’s Les 7 Doigts de la Main, a contemporary circus performance about “insanity, sorrow, bad behaviour, pain, airplane accidents and romantic love gone terribly wrong”, and Josie Lane’s bawdy cabaret performance, Josie in the Bathhouse.

Plus, during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, laughter will shake the canvas walls as funny man and legendary crooner Bob Downe takes to the stage.

With a minimum of three shows taking place each night, get ready for a wild ride into the heart of the arts.

The Famous Spiegel Season
7 February – 22 April 2012
Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne 3000
Full program and tickets www.artscentremelbourne.com.au