Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Madame Zingara's Theatre of Dreams

The circus is back in town! Not just any circus,Madame Zingara's Theatre of Dreams is currently performing to capacity audiences at their tent in Melrose Arch.
For the uninitiated Madame Zingara brings a whole new meaning to "dinner theatre"
The venue is currently encamped on a soon-to-be construction site, not that the guests would notice that given the rather eclectic nature of the buildings surrounding the main tent.

From the moment guests enter "the venue" from the car park they are transported in a world of fantasy and make believe that seems to engender a spirit of fun and entertainment.So much so that many of the audience members come in fancy dress! (There is a shop inside the venue that supplies costumes and accessories for those who change their minds)

Although the tent seats 420 people it did not feel crowded at all.
The tables that are laid out around a small performance stage can changed to suit large or small groups. Because the performance is in the round, anywhere in the tent offers a good view.
So how do I explain the sensory feast that is a Madame Zingara performance?

For our party of four, the evening started when we were escorted to our table by one of the costumed servers. This in itself was an experience as each staff member seems to choose their own "style" of costume and that adds to the fantasy and the entertainment.

On that note their are several "characters" scattered throughout the venue that again add to the eccentric nature of MZ!
Once we had been seated and our drinks order taken, the menu for the evening was explained to us; guests only have a choice when it comes to mains...but on that note, special dietary needs can be catered for, including vegetarian, vegan, kosher and halal. I have been reliably informed that no pork products are cooked on the premises at all.
As a 'starter' each couple is  served a Meze platter which contained the following:

Marinated olives
Soup (changes nightly)
Cashew nuts
Roasted red peppers
Camembert cheese
Falafel Balls
This was followed by
Sundried tomato and olive ravioli tossed in a goatscheese and basil sauce topped with leaves, pinenuts and parmesan

The mains do offer a choice...and a difficult on at that!

Chocolate chilli fillet (signature dish) wife rates this as the BEST fillet she has ever had
Springbok shank...fell off the bone and was absolutely delicious!
Black sesame coated Norwegian salmon on Wasabi mash. Topped with aioli and salsa...highly rated
Vegetarian veg curry served with basmati rice and all accounts it was excellent

Trio of malva pudding, lemon infused crème brulee and raspberry mousse...three ramekins on a plate giving guests a taste of each.All stunning and "moreish"! 

Food is served between acts and we were astounded by how quickly the staff served and cleared up...this means that guests can enjoy the acts rather than be distracted by the food.It also means that performers to not have to compete with passing waiters and the annoying clanking on cutlery on crockery

Some of the performers do change, but MZ try to keep the majority of the line-up the same for the duration of a run.
Currently the line up is as follows:

Rory opens as the  Queen of Tarts

Flamenco web aerial act, Christine du Plooy (SA)

Cathy Specific – air hostess

Daniel and Lisa- floor adage act. Joburg based...all the men wanted a body like Daniel's...and so did the women in the audience!

Original Tons; Lilian Khumalo, Salome Damon , Khanya Dlamini  and Stella Magaba...three glorious voices that 'lead' into each food service.

Ukraines: strap act Oleksii and Oleksandr...a stunning strength act

Cathy Specific, Doctor Longjohn...very funny, if a tad risque

Polina: hula hoops from Vegas...awesome!

Mongolian contortionists; Tom, Jerry and Ziggie...this act needs to be seen to be believed!

Los Biblicos, Carmen Maarmen (SA)
Chandelier aerial act ; Christine du Plooy

Roller skaters from Moscow, Kristina and Ivan...on such a small stage this is a rather scary act for those sitting close to the stage

The show closes with all the acts, including the waiters and the chefs(there are 15!) being introduced as part of the finale.
Once the actual show is over the stage becomes a dance floor and the resident DJ takes over...guests have been know to party into the early hours of the morning!
We all agreed that it had been an evening that we would remember for a long time

A big thank you to Mo-Jo and his staff for helping to make it so special for us.
For more information about performance times and tour dates, visit the web site:

Breaking news:  
El Milagro, the Miracle, a celebration of life's journey is currently playing at Monte Casino,Johannesburg .
It will transporting guests from a frozen landscape to the fiery finale, while the Hot Mr C is the engaging comic thread throughout the show.
Watch the seductive Christine as she performs her mesmerizing wet aerial act. The mysterious beauty of our Mongolian contortionist will captivate you.
Statuesque Cathy Specific returns in a new role and will be joined by her first class cabin crew of Trolley Dollies, who will get your feet tapping and the party started in true Zingara style.
The lounge area open at 6pm so guests can enjoy some pre-show drinks. Guest need to be seated by 7:10pm and show will still start at 8:15pm.

Box Office National Call Centre:
0861 MADAME / 0861 623263
Box Office Email Address:

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