An extraordinary night out at Madame Zingara’s.

My Silent Sunday post last week, got quite a lot of response. Most of you were a bit ‘gob-smacked’ by the image, some of you even asked for the address, The Ark asked, “My only question…were you intentionally in this restaurant/club or were you lost?”  My favourite comment came from Dianne Gray, “Woah! Keep your eyes on the drinks tray and don’t look down! ”  Just in case you missed this eye-boggling spectacle, here for your delight, is an encore.


I’m sure that you would like to know the story behind it, so here goes. We went up to visit our daughter in Johannesburg for our grandson’s 15th birthday. When she told me that she’d booked for us to see ‘Madame Zingara’, it conjured up in my mind, visions of a gypsy fortune telling show. I went on line to investigate, and found this description: “Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams, the Grande Dame of Burlesque, is a unique dinner cirque spectacular, which enchants, captivates and inspires all who pass through her stained glass doors and enter her magical world.” It sounded really interesting, but I still had no idea what to expect.

The show is housed in one of the last remaining ‘Mirror Tents’ in the world, a magnificent velvet ‘Big Top’, which has apparently toured the globe for the past 80 years.


Outside was a huge neon heart. As you may notice, my grandson was rather reluctant to pose in front of it.


Many of the audience seemed to be in fancy dress, and we felt decidedly normal in comparison to some of the glittery and eccentrically dressed spectators.


This friendly looking Pikeman, was waiting to greet us.


A really ‘nice’ sailor guy was more than happy to pose for a pic.


After that pleasant little interlude, I felt I must sit down on this sumptuous sofa, to sip my cocktail and gather my self together. My daughter Mandy called, “Mom, try to look decadent.”  I did my best.


We were shown to our table, which was decorated with an arrangement sporting a rather impudent pair of legs.


Our waitress was also not the shy, retiring type. She did get all our food orders absolutely perfect though.


Unfortunately, no photography was allowed during the actual show, but there was still plenty  of spectacle in between. The guy on the next table got a free shoulder massage…….. I wasn’t jealous.


A cute waiter passing by, took my daughter’s fancy and agreed to a hug and a photo.


In between the amazing acrobatic and gymnastic displays, which left me breathless with admiration, we were entertained by mystifying magic tricks, like this one, where a red string appeared to be threaded in one ear and out the other.


There were singers and dancers, and even Marilyn Monroe wearing her ‘Seven Year Itch’ white dress. She read out the names of all the people who were celebrating birthdays, including Justin our grandson, and then gave a very breathy rendition of the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, as sung to JFK all those years ago. She did seem to have put on a bit of weight over the years.


Some lucky people were chosen to fly up to the top of the tent, in a gilded cage. I was dying to have a turn, but wasn’t one of the chosen few.


There were full  kitchen facilities attached to the tent, and our food was absolutely delicious. The glitter-dusted fairies who waited on tables, were superbly trained and very attentive. I ended my meal with a superb trio of sticky toffee pudding, vanilla mousse and raspberry and Amarula parfait.


The surroundings were so opulent, with ornate mirrored columns, rich velvet drapes, stained glass windows and bevelled booths, that I completely forgot that we were sitting in a tent.  It was a truly magical evening, and one which I shall never forget.