A brand new, jaw-dropping entertainment show has arrived in the heart of Cardiff featuring an incredible line-up of world-class performers who will amaze and amuse as they deliver the ultimate Christmas Night Out. Acts include a gravity-defying aerial act, a fire-eating cabaret sensation, a juggler serving drinks, a spinning muscle man, and a hand-to-hand balancing duo, to name just a few.
We know all this because South Wales Life turned out in force to see CASTELLANA, and all 16 of us we’re overwhelmed by the thrill of it all, the colour, spectacle, talent and down right sophisticated naughtiness is stunning. Add to that one of the most uniques venues you’ll see anywhere this Christmas, and we can guarantee you’ll have the most memorable of festive experiences – as long as you’re 16 plus and you don’t mind having your mind well and truly blown.
CASTELLANA is part of the Cardiff Castle Christmas Festival, the other event, and it really is that, is SANTA’S WISH. Take a look at our review, and some audience reaction, including Sir Bryn Terfel.
But it’s Castellana we’re reviewing here, and as the lights dimmed, and Santa’s Wish was tucked up in bed, the flity, naughty boys and girls came out to play to entertain a packed Spiegeltent.
The show is a mix of circus, burlesque and cabaret acts sprinkled with comedy and, as we’ll no doubt mention a few times, plenty of naughtiness, set to live music. The story is set in the magical mystical Welsh world of Annwn, which is filled with intrigue and suspense. The fair maiden of Castell Annwn – Ana – is played by VIKKI BEBB (Tiger Bay the Musical, Wales Millennium Centre) with her comedic lover played by ALEX PHELPS (CBeebies). West End performer IAN STROUGHAIR (Chicago, Cats, Rent) plays the Master of the Castle.
Before we go any further, here’s a sneak peek at some of the show (some parts covered up for the sensitive), and a wildly enthusiastic audience who felt they were transported from the centre of Cardiff to the clubs of Paris and New York.
To be fair, this really is an ensemble piece made up of some of the finest speciality acts around. The international cabaret performers in Cardiff include…….
FANCY CHANCE – The Hair Hanger; BRETT ROSENGREEN – the Naked Cowboy; ANGIE SYLVIA – The Fire Fox; DIDI DERRIERE – the Burlesque Goddess; FLORIAN BROOKS – the Gentleman Juggler; SOPHIE & YANN – the Hand Balancers and JOE KEELEY – The Flying Man.
We’ve talked about the Spiegeltent a lot recently and we think by now you can see it is a very special venue, in an iconic location. You can meet the guys who put it altogether HERE.
What is so nice about the show is that you can really let yourself go, cheer and applaud, sing and dance when the time is right. There is a lot of wolf-whistling, saucy cowboy and Marilyn Monroe, that’s all we’ll say for now. But amongst all the naughtiness and superb hosting from Ian Stroughair, you have real skill and talent on a Cardiff stage.
The precision of these performers is second to none. Whether it’s the flying high above the arena, with nothing but hair to stop you from falling (really), or the most dazzling routine with a top hat and cane. I can promise you that your eyes will not be able to move from the stage, unless a scantily clad artiste walks past you and slips a cheeky wink.
The creative team for Castellana includes former Artistic Director of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in York and former York Theatre Royal Artistic Director Damian Cruden; Swansea-born theatre, radio and outdoor arts playwright Richard Hurford; and Welsh musical Director and conductor Nathan Jones.
In these difficult times, the entire team should be rightly proud of what they’ve achieved inside the Spiegeltent. They have stepped away from the tried and tested and invested real time and talent into creating something truly unique, which feels like something we all deserve after the last few years.
CASTELLANA is sexy and smart, fun and strangely festive. It feels like this is the show us bigger boys and girls need as a distraction from the amazing array of family-friendly entertainment we have this year.
Grab the girls, grab the boys, take your partner by the hand and enter the Spiegeltent for an evening of extreme naughtiness, all done in the best possible taste (to quote the greatest DJ who ever lived).
The show runs until the 1st January 2023, for tickets and further information just go HERE.
Prices range from £24.50 to £44.50 for VIP Ringside, with Booth tickets (min 6 people) priced at £34.50. Booking Fees Apply.
The venue is accessible for wheelchairs. Please message the team with any specific requirements.