Or, the circus comes to town. And feeds you up nice.
So, you’re stuck in that annual festive pickle: your youthful instinct to duly celebrate the season is alive and kicking but, when you weigh up your options, it’s much the same repertoire of entertainment as last year. A migraine-inducing panto, perhaps? Those wacky Cirque du Soleil guys? An urban ice-rink, where you are bound to sustain that crippling wrist fracture you have successfully avoided until now? Where is the sophistication, the innovation, or, as the French say, the I-don't-know-what? This year, why not try resisting schmaltzy yuletide convention, and indulge in a night of unhallowed, bohemian decadence instead, in an Aladdin’s cave of drama and excitement, fantasy and make-believe, performance and, well, nice food.
The South-African sensation Madame Zingara and her Theatre of Dreams sets up shop in the shadows of Battersea Power Station from 12th December for the next three months. If you like the sound of being entertained by acrobats, trapeze artists, cabaret acts and soul divas, while scoffing a scrumptious four-course dinner, supper-club style, this could be the thing for you. Housed in a replica, fin-de-siècle-esque Spiegeltent, a kind of travelling dance hall, each table is no more then eight metres from the stage, bringing every guest into the thick of the action. Dressing up to the nines is therefore very much encouraged. Madame Zingara was previously incarnated as a lavish Cape Town restaurant, irreparably destroyed by fire in 2006. Not ones to dwell on such glum thoughts as homelessness, this plucky troupe has been touring the globe ever since, and will be making their European debut here in London.
By Carolyn Butler