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MADAME ZINGARa: AFTER FOREVER TOUR
VENUE: V&A Waterfront
UNTIL: Tuesdays to Sundays until January
Madame Zingara has put the final touches on her latest world of whimsy and wonder, opening tonight in the Theatre of Dreams tent at the V&A Waterfront.
After Forever mixes the tried-and-trusted gypsy dreamworld experience with new performance pieces – many of them international acts.
Compared to the Zingara of years gone by, After Forever offers fewer mime and juggling acts, but more acrobatic and artistic circus stunts. Narration is kept to a minimum – it’s better to wander your own way through Madame’s playground, populated with characters who could have crawled out of Pan’s Labyrinth.
The show keeps its classy but cheeky feel; it’s family-friendly, yet naughty enough to titillate. And while Madame might be magical and mystical, she’s also professional in performance and service.
Vocal quartet The Specifics bring a pop culture charm to the otherworldly line-up with every-thing from Marilyn to Miriam.
The cuisine is cooked and choreographed to perfection. As The Specifics take over after each performance, Madame’s minions march out with a new course.
One act that made me choke on my chilli chocolate steak was the Kazakhstan contortion duo. Daria, 23, and Dana, 19, scale each other like a jungle gym, bending their bodies in such astounding ways it takes a moment to decipher which leg belongs to which woman. Their rubber spines and dexterity left my mouth agape and my steak getting cold on the table.
After Forever also offers a startling amount of audience participation. One man was locked in a giant birdcage and hoisted up to the ceiling to eat his tiramasu as a captive high above the crowds.
Even the quartet of chocolate desserts could not tear my attention away from the most gasp-worthy act of the night, though: Mongolian foot-juggling. Batbold, 23, lies on his back while Munkhbat, 17, balances atop his feet. Batbold then launches Munkhbat into the air with his legs and begins to spin him like a Catherine wheel with his feet.
Three more acts were still to join the line-up at the time of watching the show: an aerial strap duet, a gymnastic Russian bar trio and a Ukrainian hand-balancing act.
Madame Zingara has launched a cosmetics range with Clicks, full of eclectic palettes you’d expect from the cirque. Audience members can have the make-up applied in Madame’s room of pricey delights. – Cadet News Agency