10 Top Live Theaters in Cape Town

Fugard Theatre production | © SarahSierszyn / Flickr
Fugard Theatre production | © SarahSierszyn / Flickr
Photo of Andrew Thompson
Freelance Writer - Instagram.com/andrewthompsonsa7 February 2018

Live theater in Cape Town is booming. These days there are often several notable local and international performances underway in the city throughout the year. Whether you’re looking for a high-profile production or a niche, offbeat performance, chances are you’ll find it at one of these Cape Town live theater venues.

Fugard Theatre

The Fugard Theatre exterior
The Fugard Theatre exterior | © Meraj Chhaya/Flickr
Named after legendary playwright Athol Fugard and located in a beautiful repurposed church in the heart of historical District Six, the Fugard Theatre is always good for a night of quality theater. There are two theaters in the venue which cater to different audience sizes, but this is the go-to venue in the city for high-quality local shows and smaller international franchises.

Artscape Theatre

The Artscape is one of Cape Town’s original and biggest theaters, and it is usually home to the bigger, high-profile shows in town. The venue, in the city’s foreshore area, dates back to 1971, and is full of regal character. But most head to the Artscape for its wide selection of events: everything from international musicals to ballet and opera have graced the stages here.

D.F. Malan St, Foreshore, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 (0)21 410 9800


Artscape Theatre | © TEDxTM/Flickr

Alexander Upstairs

This tiny theater above the vibrant Alexander Bar has developed a name for its quirkier, independent shows. In recent years they’ve hosted everything from poetry readings to cabaret shows, and together with the bar downstairs, it’s always good for a fun night out.

Baxter Theatre

The Baxter Theatre is another Cape Town institution that plays host to some of the city’s bigger theatrical runs. Situated in the suburb of Rondebosch, it’s a convenient location for those residing in the Southern Suburbs. The theater played an important role during Apartheid years by showing controversial multi-racial performances, and these days you’re likely to find ballets, musicals, comedies, and dramas.

Main Rd, Rondebosch, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 (0)21 685 7880


Baxter Theatre | © Media Club/Flickr

Theatre on the Bay

Theatre on the Bay, in the glitzy suburb of Camps Bay, is a great dinner and a show option along the Atlantic Seaboard. The shows there are diverse, from cabarets and comedies to musicals and pantomimes, and the unique venue just off the Camps Bay strip makes it a perfect place for an evening of entertainment.

Link Rd, Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 (0)21 438 3301

Maynardville Open Air Theatre

Maynardville Open Air Theatre
Maynardville Open Air Theatre | Courtesy of Maynardville
This beautiful open-air theater is host to one of the city’s most cherished festivals. They have delighted audiences with their annual Shakespeare performance for more than 62 years, and have recently stepped it up to include an entire festival. Each year from January to March you can enjoy a selection of Shakespeare plays under the stars, and the park and lake make for the perfect locations for a pre-show picnic.

Kalk Bay Theatre

This popular theatre in the False Bay suburb of Kalk Bay is a local favorite. With under 80 seats, it’s small enough to feel intimate, and they only present shows that work particularly well in this unique venue. Like many theaters in the city, they also serve snacks and drinks before and after the show, which means that together with a live performance, you can’t go wrong with an evening at the Kalk Bay Theatre.

52 Main Rd, Kalk Bay, Cape Town, South Africa, +27 (0)21 788 7257

Masque Theatre

The Masque Theatre in the seaside town of Muizenberg is perhaps one of the best community-style theaters in Cape Town. The large 171-seat venue often sells out, and hosts a wide variety of performances throughout the year, whereas the more intimate Foyer hosts musical performances, one-man shows, and poetry readings.

37 Main Rd, Muizenberg, South Africa, +27 (0)21 788 6999


Rosebank Theatre

The Rosebank Theatre in the Cape Town suburb of the same name hosts a variety of shorter run performances including moving dramas, musical tributes, and even puppet shows. Theater director Nicholas Ellenbogen founded the Rosebank Theatre in 2013, and with just 50 seats in the venue, performances there are personal and intimate.

Magnet Theatre

The Magnet Theatre dates back to the late ’80s, and since then it’s aimed to celebrate the theatrical spirit in the city. They host a good repertoire of local productions, and many deal with important topical or historical issues. They also have a comprehensive training and job development program, and work hard to develop arts in and around the Cape, making this a community theater worthy of support.

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