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Performing Arts in the Western Cape

Published: August 3, 2010 2:39 pm

Not only is the Western Cape home to gorgeous mountains and blue seas but, it is also a vibrant hub of performing arts and theatrical activity.

From stand-up comedy, to large-scale musicals and ballet performances, the Western Cape offers a wide variety of entertainment for the avid theatre-goer. The region has a long-established and well-supported culture and arts atmosphere, which neatly combines with the beautiful scenery that forms part of the Western Cape’s charm.

The multitude of theatres and venues which play host to all types of performing arts is evidence to the fact that the Western Cape is a cultural and artistic hub for Southern Africa.

Audience anticipating the start of a show

The Artscape Theatre in Cape Town opened in May 1971, as the Nico Malan Theatre. It was renamed to the Artscape in 2001. Today it manages the theatre venues and provides essential technical and specialised services on a semi-commercial basis. The emphasis is on sustainable theatre practice, education and development. Artscape has today developed into a vibrant, multi-functional creative arts centre, offering exceptional venue facilities and specialist theatrical services.

Cape Town’s first Barnyard Theatre is located in the Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre in Tyger Valley. This is dinner theatre at it’s best, with outstanding live entertainment in a unique setting. Included in the line up are rock shows, musicals, bands and revues.

The Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch is widely known as the cultural heart of Cape Town. It provides an exciting forum for the celebration of life which is the essence of live theatre, music and dance. It is one of the major live theatre venues in Cape Town and has always been at the forefront of the performing arts both as a popular venue and as a leading producer.

Die Boer Restaurant Theatre in Durbanville is an excellent dinner-theatre and live entertainment venue. At Die Boer you can experience the “creme de la creme” of South African music, comedy and theatre productions whilst having a great meal in a warm, comforting and superb acoustic environment.

Darling Station is home to the famed Pieter Dirk Uys venue, Evita Se Perron. The quaint town of Darling is home to one of South Africa’s greatest assets, and offers both a supper theatre and restaurant facility. It is also home to an art gallery and arts school.

Your seat at the theatre guarantees you an unforgettable experience

Dorp Street Restaurant Theatre is one of the oldest supper theatres in South Africa. Offering exquisite entertainment and cuisine, in an intimate and comfortable atmosphere, Dorp Street Restaurant Theatre strives to be a platform for both established and new performers.

The HB Thom Theatre in Stellenbosch was opened in 1996 as a theatre and training centre. Part of the University of Stellenbosch, this theatre not only presents professional and student productions but also hosts a variety of theatre groups, drama festivals and conferences.

Kalk Bay Theatre is a 78-seater theatre situated in Main Road, Kalk Bay. Housed in the old Kalk Bay DR Church, the building was erected in 1876 and is a heritage protected building. An intimate supper theatre venue, KBT offers a unique night of entertainment. Theatre, sustenance and quality time with friends all under the same roof.

The Klein Libertas Theatre in Stellenbosch strives to serve the Stellenbosch community and surrounding area with cultural activities and the best in performing arts. The theatre aims to offer opportunities to young, upcoming actors and theatre practitioners to become involved and establish meaningful contact with the wider theatre world.

The Maynardville Open Air Theatre in Wynberg is reputably one of the best-loved outdoor theatre venues in the Western Cape. Offering patrons both a 500m2 wooded park for pre-show picnics and drinks, as well as a unique wooded 720-seater theatre setting, the Maynardville Open Air Theatre is most famous for the annual Shakespeare-in-the-Park production.

The famed red curtain, beyond which a whole new world of entertainment unfolds

The Old Mill Theatre in Paarl is a community theatre initiative which produces and hosts a variety of productions in English and Afrikaans. Available for hire by professional entertainers, the Old Mill Theatre is a comfortable and pleasant venue.

The Spier Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch hosts a number of summer concerts, jazz events, theatrical and comedy productions on the renowned Spier wine estate.

The Intimate Theatre in Cape Town can be found tucked behind the Little Theatre on Orange Street, and was re-opened in 2002 as a space primarily for newly established professionals to experiment and produce work without crippling theatre rental preventing new work from being staged. Since then, The Intimate has staged countless new South African works, launched new performers and their plays and drawn veteran South African icons to its boards.

The Playhouse Theatre in Somerset West is one of the oldest amateur dramatic societies in the Western Cape and proudly produces quality shows of all genres, appealing to both children and adults alike.

Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay offers a good mix of local and international drama, musicals, comedy, cabaret, music and dance. Not only does this intimate theatre host the best shows in town, it is also home to the Act I Theatre Café.

The Little Theatre is an interdisciplinary unit run in association with the University of Cape Town’s Drama Department, and situated on the University’s Hiddingh Campus, in central Cape Town. Aside from providing theatre spaces and facilities for theatre research for departments within UCT, the Little Theatre also provides production opportunities for theatre, film and television companies and community groups.

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