Theatre Review: The Nutcracker’s Winter Circus – Retail Respite, Or Shopping For Inspiration


Bruce Dennill

Writer. Reader. Singer. Songwriter. Believer. Likes to learn.

All content by Bruce Dennill first published on pARTicipate, republished with permission.
Bruce Dennill



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The Nutcracker’s Winter Circus / Directed by Andrew Botha / Sandton City Centre Court, Sandton, Johannesburg


A Big Top circus tent in the middle of one of the busiest shopping malls in the southern hemisphere is a surprise, and a pleasant one. In a temple of materialism, the custom-designed venue for this family-friendly slice of entertainment stands out a touch of magic that can’t be replicated by Black Friday deals or any other retail-related wizardry.

More interestingly – and excitingly, for those who appreciate the heritage behind various art forms – the show is quite clearly an homage, minus the troublesome animal acts (there’s no way to avoid concerns about cruelty) to the simple, compact travelling shows that were the basis for the modern circus, way back in medieval times. Those shows may have involved only a family group presenting a handful of skits with whatever props they had to hand before passing a hat around for contributions from…

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