A staple for the quintessential Cape Town experience is to head over to the Maynardville Open Air Theatre and be bedazzled by highly talented renditions of Shakespeare’s works under the stars.
The spectacular green wooded park has been playing host to annual open-air festivals of the arts, and I must say, there is something uniquely magical about hearing the breezes hum through the trees as a backdrop to high drama on the stage.
I highly recommend taking a blanket, because it does get quite nippy later in the evening, and a cushion, for the wooden seats.
The pre-show drinks and snacks that can be purchased all work towards supporting local Rotary charities, and they do a lot of great work in the community.
This is a festival of theatre, ballet, orchestra and comedy that you should go and support, you will be pleasantly enthused by the amount of talent you’ll be seeing on stage.
“The Globe” of Cape Town, which has been serving up Shakespearean theatre under starlit heavens since the first showing of The Taming of the Shrew (29 January 1956), is another one of those local things you do not want to neglect. Set inside a lush park in Wynberg, the annual "Shakespeare-in-the-Park" is a whole new way to experience theatre, without air-conditioning, house lights, or an auditorium.
The venue seats 720 people and we would advise that you take a blanket, it does get a bit chilly towards the end of the evening. There is a small kiosk where you can pick up snacks, hot chocolate and coffee/tea and it’s run by the local Rotary club.
In terms of local attractions “Some are born great, others achieve greatness” and this one has done both. The venue has been amazing from the beginning, and the unrelenting passion of the theatre practitioners that perform and direct here, have made it fantastic. This year they are putting on “Twelfth Night”, one of Shakespeare’s best known plays, from the 17th January until Saturday, 25 February 2017.
Short Synopsis: In Twelfth Night Orsino courts the Countess Olivia. Shipwrecked Viola disguises herself and takes on the name Cesario, and enters the Duke’s service. By the end, Viola and the Duke are married, and Olivia weds a man named Sebastian.
Florian Zeller is arguably one of the most exciting new playwrights of our time (The Guardian), and his work has won him several major accolades, including the coveted Prix Interallié in 2004.
His piece “The Father” has been translated into English by Christopher Hampton and will be enacted by South Africa’s own national treasure, Marius Weyers. He is supported by the exceptional cast of Anthea Thompson (My Briljante Egskeiding, Shirley Valentine, Madam and Eve), Emily Child (The Pervert Laura; The Emissary, A Certain Lady), Brent Palmer (A Steady Rain, The Kingmakers, Bench), Nicholas Pauling (Clybourne Park, A Steady Rain, Epstein) and Amy Louise Wilson (The Book of Negroes, Scrape and The Year of the Bicycle). Directing the show is Greg Karvellas (Clybourne Park; Bad Jews; CHAMP) with set design by Rocco Pool. For a stunning view into the vibrancy that is the South African theatre scene, book now.