Almost every adult you speak to about their childhood has a circus memory… there’s just something about the magical world of the circus that seems to stand out. One of my all-time favourite books as a child was about running away to join the circus, and I vividly recall the time the circus set up camp on the field opposite our school and my very first visit to the Big Top.
A visit to the circus is almost a right of passage for a childhood… except that these days we know much better when it comes to circus acts with animals, which is why I was feeling quite bereft for my kids that they wouldn’t get to experience the wonder and magic that is the imaginative world of the circus until….
The Fantastic Griffizi Brothers Circus rolled into Fish Hoek recently with a circus of wonderment and no animal acts!
Shortly after I heard about it’s arrival I made a plan for us to get there to discover it’s delights for ourselves…
The Fantastic Grifizzi Brothers and their carnival of friends opened their magical animal-free traveling circus and winter garden of delights at the Athletics Club in Fish Hoek at the start of the school holidays.
We arrived early to enjoy the circus atmosphere in the grounds around the tent – food stalls, live music, fun activities including bungee trampolining, a fire truck and face painting.
Our first stop was the Bohemian Bus – a Double-Decker bar with views over the grounds, delicious burgers and R10 drinks during happy hour (4 – 6pm!) My kids loved the novelty of eating atop a bus!
The signal to step inside the Big Top sounded and we made our way inside to find a spot to sit… sawdust, dim light, tangible excitement!
Designed and produced by Richard Griffin and the talented team that brought South Africa the legendary Madame Zingara, this is a show worth seeing that promises fun for the whole family… and we weren’t disappointed!
“The Story of the Moon” is a sweet tale about the Moon and her quest to be happy, just like the circus folk she sees below. The amazing cast of local and international circus acts perform a variety of acrobatics, drumming, Argentinian boladeros, contortion, slapstick comedy and a mesmerizing quick change act that has to be seen to be believed!
The show is MC’d by the vivacious Lilian Khumalo as Mama Circus, alongside singer Carmen Maarman and the hilarious Strongman and his Clown sidekick with a brief visit by the only animal in the act – Zelda the Zebra!
I loved taking my kids to experience a traditional circus… a highlight for me being the beautiful Italian Big Top tent! As a family a few of our favourite acts were the quick change one, the balancing act and the beautiful aerial dancers but each act kept us enthralled to the last!
This was a fantastical way to spend a cold winter’s day and highly recommended as a fun family outing for the school holidays!
‘The Story of the Moon’ is presented in Fish Hoek on Thursdays at 2pm & 6pm, Fridays at 2pm & 5pm and 7pm, Saturdays at 11am, 2pm, 5pm and on Sundays at 11am, 2pm and 5pm until 23 July.
From 5 to 27 August 2017 the circus moves to Stellenbosch where you can catch all the fun at the Van Der Stel fields from Wednesday to Sunday. Entry costs R30 pp and the grounds open from 2pm Wed- Fri and from 11am Sat and Sun. Student night is on Wednesdays with 2 for 1 specials on presentation of a student card. Between 4pm and 6pm there is R10 beer and wine. The Story of the Moon is presented on Thursdays at 4:00pm, Fridays at 3:00pm and 7:00pm, and Saturdays and Sundays at 12:00pm, 3:00pm & 7:00pm.
For the remainder of 2017 and into 2018 The Fantastic Grifizzi Brothers will travel in true gypsy style between towns and cities throughout the rest of South Africa so keep a look out if you live elsewhere in the country!
The 80-minute show, directed by Mark Colli and Christine Chapman, will go on, rain or shine, while the Winter Garden will be closed on days where the weather does not permit.
Tickets cost from R120 for children to R160 for adults and will grant visitors access to the two-act Moon show and the circus garden, and include a complimentary glass of bubbly for the adults and a balloon and a sweetie for the little ones on arrival. (Ticket price does not include meals, drinks or extra activities in the grounds).
Additional activities are R20 – R60 for the big carnival rides, bungee trampoline (age 3 to 12) for five minutes, and face painting.
Tel: 071 400 2250
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