South Africa was previously often overlooked by the “big” acts that typically tour Europe and the USA. But no more! While big names and even bigger shows are headed for our shores, SA’s own talent is staging world-class entertainment – and you’d be crazy not to support them.
SA's Madame is on stage
The (crazy!) Madame Zingara “After Forever” dinner-cirque experience begins with drinks outside an incredible tent of antique Belgian mirrors. Inside are a fantastical sitting area and a shop that sells all manner of over-the-top theatre pieces like feather boas, hair pieces, glittering hats, over-sized bow ties, make-up, masks and gag shirts. “Soul readings” and face painting are offered and, if you’re not careful, you’ll be squirted at or pounced on by a roaming pot plant.
Closer to show time you’re ushered to your seat in the main tent, which resembles a magical woodland of exotic colours and fabrics, forest-like elements, chandeliers, fairly lights and stained glass.
Acts include incredibly pliable “princesses”, fearless Russian acrobats, fiercely energetic Argentinian gauchos, pole dancing (in the non-sleazy sense), and Icarian foot jugglers from Mongolia – musically accompanied by The Specifics and interspersed with witty cameos by Hot Mr C and The Absinthe Fairy.
All of the characters sport magnificent costumes, the generous four-course menu is five-star, audience members are encouraged to participate and everything works like clockwork. The result is a world-class, whimsical night out which typically ends with the audience dancing on the stage.
Due to popular demand, the show has been extended to December in Monte Casino, Johannesburg. Tickets cost between R440 and R495 and sell out fast – Cape Town’s recent packed run was evidence of this.
But Cape Town-based fans will be pleased to know that the show’s creators will soon open “Shake Your Honey Mumbai”, a multi-storey theatre with a market, restaurants and shop that “encapsulates the vibrant spirit of India”. Shake Your Honey will open on the site of the original Madame Zingara restaurant, which burned down in 2006. Theatre dates and prices to be confirmed.
But wait, there’s more …
There are numerous other top-class shows and events, both local and international, taking place around SA soon.
Be sure to catch the Top Gear Festival on 21 and 22 June, in Durban. This action-packed live stadium show, presented by the perennially popular Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, is a proven crowd-pleaser. Ticket prices range from R260 to around R2 000 for die-hard fans.
Durbanites who like to wine and dine and dance should diarise The Oyster Box on Saturday nights. As is to be expected, live music and exceptional cuisine are the order of the day. Budget for around R470 per person and book early.
In Cape Town, you can look forward to the Stars of the Ballet Moscow which will play for a limited time towards the end of June. Guests will be treated to the music of the great Russian composers and extracts from Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and the Nutcracker. Tickets cost between R140 and R250 per person.