The performing arts are alive and kicking in the Mother City, with a host of top-class playhouses putting on a diverse variety of performances all around the peninsula.
Cape Town’s vibrant performing arts scene is a theatre-lover’s dream, with performances across a myriad of genres at playhouses across the city. From Shakespeare under the stars, to spectacular opera, thought-provoking drama and hilarious comedy, the stages of the mother city offers something for everyone.
- The Baxter Theatre: Situated in Rondebosch, just east of Cape Town’s CBD, The Baxter Theatre has played an important part in South Africa’s rich performing arts history, defying censorship during the Apartheid years by putting on sharp-edged, multi-racial performances. Today the Baxter continues this legacy by playing host to cutting-edge local and international productions, including drama, ballet, music and comedy.
- Theatre on the Bay: On the other side of the Mountain, Pieter Toerien’s Theatre on the Bay serves up great food and great theatre. Situated just off Camps Bay’s main strip, it offers audiences an array of both local and international dramas, comedies, dance, cabaret, and musicals, next to the popular Side Dish Theatre Bistro.
- Maynardville Open Air Theatre: Shakespeare’s Cape Town home, the Maynardville Open Air theatre plays host to Artscape’s annual Shakespear-in-the-Park where professional Shakespeare productions are performed under the stars on its wooden stage. The theatre is located in Maynardville Park in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs.
- Masque Theatre: If you’re looking for amateur theatre, The Masque Theatre in Muizenberg is just the place. Featuring a well equipped, 174-seat venue, this community theatre hosts amateur performances of all genres.
- Kalk Bay Theatre: Situated in the quaint fishing village of Kalk Bay, this 78-seater theatre plays a number of musical, comedy and cabaret productions to its loyal patrons. It also has a bar area that serves drinks, snacks and light meals.
- The Fugard Theatre: Named after world-famous South African playwright Athol Fugard, and located in historical District Six on the edge of the CBD, the Fugard Theatre is one of Cape Town’s most beloved theatres. Featuring two intimate theatres and a bioscope it has hosted a number of celebrated local and international performances, including The Rocky Horror Show and Waiting for Godot.
- Alexander Upstairs Theatre: Right in the middle of Cape Town’s CBD is the popular Alexander Bar and Café. The theatre upstairs is known to be a hotbed of up-and-coming local talent, and hosts an array of diverse productions from comedy, live music, drama, poetry readings and much much more.
- Rosebank Theatre: Established by renowned theatre director, Nicholas Ellenbogen to serve as a platform for up-and-coming artists and seasoned theatre veterans alike, the Rosebank Theatre is especially known for comedy and musical performances in its intimate, 50-seater venue . When visiting the theatre, please bring cash to purchase refreshments, as they current;y do not have card facilities available.
- Rainbow Puppet Theatre: This unique little theatre is the only permanent puppet theatre in South Africa. Situated in the kindergarten building of the Constantia Waldorf School just south of Cape Town city centre, the little playhouse puts on puppet productions inspired by classic Grimm fairy tales every Saturday morning. The shows rotate every month and is recommended for toddlers 4 and up. Call for more info: 0027 (0) 21 783 2063
- The Artscape Theatre: Cape Town’s premier performing arts venue, the magnificent Artscape theatre complex features four theatres that play host to everything from large-scale operas, internationally renowned ballet performances, to popular musicals.
- Magnet Theatre: Established in 1987 as a space to develop unique, topical and innovative African theatre, the Magnet Theatre in Observatory just outside the Cape Town CBD, is known for its critically acclaimed stage productions that inspires audiences of all ages.
- Barnyard Theatre: The Willowbrigde Barnyard Theatre in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs offers highly entertaining in-house productions enjoyed in a friendly, family atmosphere. Guests sit around large wooden tables and can bring their own picnic baskets, or order from the cash bars or coffee stations.
- Cape Philharmonic Orchestra: Composed of some of the finest musicians in Cape Town, the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra is the epitome of talent and skill. Founded in 1914, it is the most active and multi-functional orchestra on the African continent and covers many festivals, concerts and all genres of music from ballets to symphonic pop.
- Cape Town International Jazz Festival: All That Jazz In early April every year, Cape Town puts on its jazz shoes and hosts the world-renowned Cape Town International Jazz Festival. For jazz lovers, this is a chance to see top local and international jazz musicians at the foot of Table Mountain. The Festival The festival is the fourth biggest largest jazz festival in the world.
- Cape Town Opera Company: If you’ve a taste for the finer things in life, then embrace the art of African opera with the Cape Town Opera Company. As a training ground for some the best opera talent across the continent, the Cape Town Opera Company has received numerous accolades for their performances.
Cape Town Comedy Club: With sets taking place at The Pumphouse in the iconic V&A Waterfront, the Cape Town Comedy Club welcomes both local and international acts of the highest calibre and wit. It’s open five days a week and provides a hangout for customers and audience members to eat, drink and relax while enjoying a laugh or three.
Source: Cape Tourism