Review: The Enchanted Cirque Experience


There are two types of people in Cape Town: Those who have seen nouveau-cirque performances, like the long-running and fantastic Madame Zingara ones, and those who haven’t. Those of us who loved Madame Zingara have mourned its absence and longed for more magic. We are the ones that would jump at the opportunity to see the brand new Enchanted Cirque show and we would go see this show with relatively high expectations. Then there are those who have never seen a modern cirque show, have no expectations, and can be swept away with the magic. And I have a feeling that these are the people who will enjoy Enchanted Cirque the most.

You cannot help but be swept away when you arrive at the magical Spiegel Tent. The entrance is beautiful and, after being welcomed with a test tube glass of bubbly, we made our way to the foyer. Mingling with fellow friends and media folk here, we were serenaded by a fantastic singer and exposed to the beglittered Adonis type man we would later dub Tarzan. Tarzan would often appear at the beginning and ends of acts to literally carry the female performers in and out. And which lady wouldn’t want her own Tarzan?

Hosting the performance are local comedian Mel Jones and Argentinian slapstick performer Piky Pokus. Performances in the show range from breath-taking silk acts to hair-raising knife throwing and bubble magic. My favourites of the night were Aquaterra and their Duo Pole and Twin Trapeze acts. I also loved the Queen of Silks and Tom McKinnon’s Cloud Swing. The knife throwing act, although fantastic and oozing with sexual tension, left me a bit uneasy. I guess that in this day and age I just don’t feel comfortable with a man throwing sharp knives at a woman, but that may just be me.


There is a lot that is right with the show, but personally I found something missing. The website promises “an engaging and enchanting narrative” and offers an entire story on how Enchanted came to be, with broken hearts and magic spells.  I expected some reference to this story and for the narrative to bind the show together, but found none. And while some of the acts were world-class, others left many of us scratching our heads.

All in all though, it is still a beautiful experience, and those who have never experienced a modern cirque show before will have a magically enchanted experience

Enchanted Cirque is on till the 15th of October at the Spiegel Tent outside the Cape Town Stadium. For more info and booking please go to

Written by Sabine Palfi

Article Date: September 2017