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SCENE IT: Joyful RHAPSODY delights

Barbara Loots


Zip Zap Circus' RHAPSODY – A PHILHARMONIC CIRCUS, onstage at the Artscape Opera House until 6 November 2022, is a joyful display of youthful exuberance and great skills development.

RHAPSODY showcases traditional and contemporary circus acts, including daring acrobatics and phenomenal juggling with comedic flair – all to the beat of a 17-piece orchestra.

The show is a true delight for the young and young at heart. If you feel like the end of year pressure is just too much, and that joy is in short supply, this show is where you will find it in spades. The antics and routines bring a smile to your face for the full 90 minutes of the production.

The performers range from age 20 to 30 and is a great example of the talent the Zip Zap Circus has developed over the last 30 years of teaching. They truly are pioneers of social change through the arts.

RHAPSODY’s first of 100 performances took place at the Artscape Opera House on 3 November 2022 and saw the audience jump to their feet in standing ovation adoration, shouting “we want more” as if they were at a rock concert. Well, RHAPSODY definitely did rock!

On the night, Jacobus Claassen (gravity juggling, hand to hand, powertrack) had the audience in the palm of his hand from beginning to end, as he linked together the different performances with great clowning charm. Along with Jason Barnard (gravity juggling, hand to hand, powertrack), these two prove that clowning is a happy art that can chase away any nightmare.

Acrobat Phelelani Ndakrokra also had the audience on the edge of their seats with his aerial straps and cyr wheel performance – a true showman.

These three, along with the rest of the talented Zip Zap troupe –including club jugglers, unicyclists, trapeze and aerial silk performers– reveal the true power (and necessity) of trust in circus acts. On top of all the jaw-dropping tricks, the performers also treat the audience to a great gumboot dance number.

For all these reasons, and more, RHAPSODY is not only invigorating, but also inspirational.

In this show, the Zip Zap performers team up with conductor Chad Hendricks who ensures that the music of the orchestra matches the magic of the circus at every beat.

Adele Blank’s choreography brings an extra layer of vibrant excitement to the show and ensures that South Africa’s rhythmic soul will be touring with this troupe to Europe. I have no doubt that international audiences will be left as enchanted by this production –an exuberant celebration of movement, music and heart– as South Africans are currently.

RHAPSODY is the perfect theatre pre-cursor to the festive season: a treat for the whole family. With only a few performance left before the run ends 6 November 2022, book your tickets online through Computicket, without delay. Get yourself and as many friends as a clown can bundle into a car and head on over to the Artscape Opera House to be entertained.


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