In recent years, Braamfontein has undergone massive regeneration. As such, this former hub of sports, leisure and business, has regained its status as one of the best entertainment hotspots in the city. Whether you're after the quiet refinement of an art gallery, a soothing jazz session or a nightclub rave, Braamfontein is sure to have a place for you to hang out. So, let's get busy exploring all that this quirky suburb has to offer.
Republic of 94 is one of the largest bars and event venues in Braamfontein. With a 20m long bar and ample space to dance the night away, this is the place to be on a Friday night in Braam. Republic of 94 regularly hosts popular DJs over weekends, drawing in the student crowds and fun seekers from around Joburg. Give their Elderflower and Cucumber G&T a try the next time you visit. Or, sample an imported beer paired with their famous sticky ribs. It's an absolute must.
Kitchener's Carvery Bar at the Milner Park Hotel is Joburg's second oldest operational bar. This rich history, combined with its notoriety for hosting all night parties, makes it one of the top destinations for a Friday night jol in Braamfontein. Kitchener's prides itself on having an incredibly progressive and varied music policy. This applies to their admissions policy, too. Anyone and everyone is welcome here, so bring your friends along for an epic night out.
The Milner Park Hotel is also home to one of Braamfontein's party landmarks, Great Dane. Famed for its gourmet hotdogs, open air courtyard and awesome late night events, Great Dane transforms itself from a casual daytime restaurant to a pulsating nightclub by nightfall. Stop by for a leisurely lunch or get all dolled up and visit under the cover of darkness. Either way, you're sure to have a great time.
Visit Great Dane.
How about an art gallery, restaurant, bar, live music venue and coffee shop all in one? Artivist and Untitled Basement offers a space for creatives to meet, chat and chill. Come through to enjoy impromptu jazz performances, great food and beer on tap. Artivist and Untitled Basement represents what Braam is all about - an amalgamation of cultures, styles, cuisines and people coming together to celebrate the best that life has to offer.
The Joburg Theatre complex stands as an icon of the Braamfontein arts and culture scene. Formerly known as the Civic Theatre, this is one of Joburg's largest theatre houses. The main venue at Joburg Theatre seats up to 1000 audience members, and hosts the quarterly Joburg Ballet productions, large scale operas and Janice Honeyman's annual pantomime. The Peoples Theatre also forms part of the Joburg Theatre complex. For over 20 years, this dedicated children's theatre has delighted little ones with its whimsical stage productions. If you've never visited the Joburg Theatre complex, do so as soon as possible. It's an experience you don't want to miss out on.
The Alexander Theatre was built in the early 1950s, Braamfontein's original heyday. It later fell into disrepair, as the suburb faced mass dilapidation. However, thanks to the clever innovation of local developers, Play Braamfontein, the Alexander has been restored to its former glory in recent times. The theatre celebrated its grand re-opening with a production of RENT, welcoming back audiences to its pristine Broadway-esqe 550-seater auditorium. The Alexander Theatre is now a leading multi-dimensional event venue, hosting concerts, award ceremonies, talent shows, exhibitions, weddings and conferences.
An art gallery located with a shopping centre? That's right. The Kalashnikovv Gallery is situated within the popular 70 Juta Street retail precinct. Here, you will find a stunning collection of contemporary art by some of the country's brightest upcoming painters, sculptors and photographers. This is the perfect spot to unwind after a marathon shopping trip around Braam or in between lunch dates. The gallery also hosts regular events in collaboration with the WITS School of Digital Arts and the WITS Art Museum, so be on the lookout for happenings on their Facebook page.
The WITS Art Museum boasts one of the largest curated displays of fine art and sculpture from the African continent and the diaspora. The museum also recently unveiled the Jack Ginsberg Centre for Book Arts - an exciting display of Ginsberg's astounding collection of artworks in the form of books, rather than books about art. The WITS Art Museum runs school tours and is open to the public between 10:00 - 16:00 from Tuesday to Saturday.
Constitution Hill is one of the most important historical sites in Johannesburg. As a former holding block for political prisoners and now the seat of the Constitutional Court, this is definitely one of Braamfontein's best attractions. You can take a quick one-hour highlights tour or a full two-hour tour, guided by the museum's curators. There are also numerous special tours on offer, including the night tour, time travel tour, walk with Madiba tour, art and justice tour and a tour of the Constitutional Court. Bookings can be made on Webtickets.
Braamfontein is well known for being the graffiti capital of Johannesburg. But this is so much more than paint on walls. Braam's urban art scene is as intriguing as anything you would find hung on a wall in a gallery or museum. Come and experience Braam like you never have before with Past Experiences tour company. Their Braam Urban Art Tour takes you on a foot journey through the suburb to see a number of commissioned public artworks and the lesser appreciated street art murals and graffiti walls. It's certainly an awakening experience, so don't miss out.
The City of Johannesburg introduced bicycle lanes to Braamfontein's streets a few years ago, welcoming in a new bike culture never seen in this part of the city before. But, if you're weary of going for a ride on your own, join Once Travel for their Braam by Bike tour experience. This 5-hour bike tour takes you on a journey through old and new Braamfontein, to uncover the public street art, local cuisine and history of the precinct, among other jewels. It's an intense adventure, but well worth the effort.
Braamfontein is the oldest recognised suburb of the city of Johannesburg. Following the gold rush of the 1850s, Braamfontein became a central hub for business, sport and leisure. With the establishment of the South African School of Mining in 1895 (later to become the University of the Witwatersrand), Braamfontein cemented its status as a bustling inner city suburb. Today, "Braam" as it is affectionately known, is one of the city's top destinations for entertainment, retail, dining and loft-style living. From its many contemporary restaurants to its fabulous night life, Braamfontein offers an array of exciting activities. It is also undoubtedly the underground fashion hub of Johannesburg, often referred to as "sneaker town". You never quite know what you might find in this eclectic part of the city.
Braamfontein is quite unlike any other shopping destination in the city. There few malls and shopping centres here, but rather a collection of independent fashion stores, curio shops and artisanal markets. Braam is the ultimate shopping hub for fashion fundis, collectors and organic food lovers. 70 Juta Street is one of the area's top retail precincts. Here, you will find an ever-expanding number of pop-up shops and local fashion boutiques. If you're not one to follow the crowd, this is the place to do your fashion buying. The Neighbourgoods Market is also a favourite for farm fresh goods and handmade crafts. Overall, Braamfontein offers a truly unique shopping experience well worth exploring.
Explore Shopping in Braamfontein.
Braamfontein boasts an equally vibrant daytime and nighttime entertainment scene. Whether you prefer a casual stroll around a weekend market or epic adventures under the cover of darkness, Braam offers an assortment of fun hangouts and entertainment activities. The suburb is also lauded for its arts and culture scene. Catch a theatre show at the magnificent Joburg Theatre or visit Constitution Hill to learn about our country's past. Braamfontein is a hive of activity over weekends, bringing a diverse mix of people together to celebrate life in all its glories. If you've ever imagined what a South African utopia looks like, Braam on a Saturday night would be it. People of all creeds, colours and orientations gather here to eat, drink and be merry. So, what are you waiting for? Get in on the Braamfontein party scene or you'll be missing out!
Explore Entertainment in Braamfontein.
From early morning coffee to the midnight munchies, Braamfontein's restaurant scene has got you covered. Thanks to its large student population and nearby business districts, the eateries here offer a wide variety of cuisines. Come and tuck into traditional South African shisanyama, Mediterranean fare or gourmet hot dogs at Braamfontein's top class restaurants. The area is also favoured as one of the best places to grab brunch on a Sunday morning. Think classic eggs Benedict, maple glazed bacon on sweet French toast and some of the best coffee in Joburg. Eating out in Braamfontein is a taste adventure you don't want to skip out on. Come hungry!
Explore Restaurants in Braamfontein.
Braamfontein is a verified backpackers town. Come and find the best budget accommodation at one of its hotels, lodges or hostels. Once in Joburg offers you all three in one - as Joburg's only 'poshtel' it welcomes in students, tourists and adventurers of all kinds. You can share a room with friends or bunk with total strangers for the night. It's all about sparing your pocket money for great adventures around the city. Braam is also home to the great Bannister Hotel. After a long night of partying, this is the ideal inexpensive stay over. Plus there's free breakfast to be had in the morning! If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind travel experience, book yourself into a Braamfontein hotel or self-catering accommodation. There is no better way to soak up all that this corner of the city has to offer than by getting right into the thick of it.
In spite of its relatively small size, Braamfontein suburb is home to many schools, universities and colleges. Located right in the centre of Braamfontein is the University of the Witwatersrand. This elite tertiary institution is one of the suburb's greatest landmarks and draw cards for students from around the country. There are also a number of private colleges located in the area, specialising in media studies, graphic design and marketing. The National School of the Arts is situated in the area as well, directly opposite the Joburg Theatre complex. The school offers a disciplined curriculum, combining practical arts studies with the national syllabus. Many talented visual artists, dancers, musicians and theatre makers have graduated from this top co-educational high school.
Explore Schools in Braamfontein.
The City Council of Johannesburg offices are situated in Braamfontein, as is the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality. Visit the various city government departments here for assistance with your water and electricity rates, service delivery, waste removal and road works. The Gauteng Department of Labour and the Provincial office for the Department of Home Affairs are also located in the area. The Provincial Head Office of the South African Police Service is located on Empire road, on the border between Braamfontein and Parktown.
Thanks to its central city location, Braamfontein is the ideal meeting place for large conferences and events. Thankfully, there are a few conference venues in the area, suited to hosting both small and large gatherings. Constitution Hill plays host to many corporate events, private functions and outdoor music festivals. Whether you’ are hosting a meeting, a seminar or talk, a cocktail reception or a banquet, there should be a space suited to your needs at Con Hill. Similarly, the Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Parktonian All-Suite offers event rooms with a seating capacity of up to 450 people. So, if you're looking to hold an event in Joburg, look no further than Braamfontein's best conference venues.
Many of South Africa's major corporations have office spaces situated in Braamfontein, including Liberty Holdings Limited, JD Group, Sappi, Bidvest Bank and Hollard. The suburb offers a multitude of work opportunities across a range of fields. Being situated just north of the city centre makes its job market incredibly lucrative. There are numerous means of transport in and out of Braamfontein as well, meaning that workers can easily commute in from areas around the city. The Gautrain at Park Station brings in people from Sandton, Rosebank and Johannesburg East each day to work in Braamfontein.
Explore Jobs in Braamfontein.
Over recent years, Braamfontein has seen massive regeneration. As such, it has regained some of its former glory in terms of property and rentals. If you're on the lookout for a designer loft, this is the place to go house hunting. Many of the suburb's old buildings have been renovated into lush apartment complexes, perfect for young professionals. New Braamfontein Lofts is an urban development making big waves on the property scene. Offering an escape from the hustle and bustle of the inner city, this artisanal residential complex combines the best of industrial-style architecture with contemporary comfort. But don't imagine that only 'cool kids' or artists call Braamfontein home. All are welcome here, so come and find your forever home.
Explore Property in Braamfontein.
The 1992 musical drama, Sarafina! is still one of the most popular films used to commemorate the Soweto Uprising. The film explores the tensions that led up to the eruption of student protests in June 1976. Sarafina (played by Leleti Khumalo) inspires her peers to rise up in protest after she loses hope in the older generation's tactics to save black South Africans from the tyranny of the apartheid system. Inspired by her teacher (played by Whoopi Goldberg), Sarafina takes up the baton against injustice and inequality. Against this backdrop of political tension, the film plays out in pitch-perfect song and dance that leaves you feeling inspired and hopeful for a new dawn. This is a definite must-watch this Youth Day.
Surprisingly, there are very few documentaries about the events that occurred on June 16 1976. However, in 2017, two filmmakers embarked on the challenging journey to unpack what happened on that day. Uprize! features personal accounts from student leaders of the time and rare archive footage of the event. It is a celebration of the many unsung heroes of the uprising, casting a different shadow on the mindset of their generation and lifting them up as heroes rather than victims of an oppressive regime. If you want a fresh look at Youth Day and its significance, watch Uprize!
Steve Biko's Black Consciousness Movement is thought to have underpinned the 1976 student uprising. Cry Freedom centres around Biko and his efforts to eradicate principles of discrimination based on race in the late 1970s in apartheid South Africa. The film stars Denzel Washington as Steve Biko and was nominated for multiple awards, including the Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Original Score and Best Original Song. Honour this stalwart's memory and celebrate the gains of his lifelong work by watching Cry Freedom this Youth Day.
Netflix has tons of great content to binge on this Youth Day, including an in-depth documentary tracing the assassination of Civil Rights Movement leader, Malcolm X. Decades after his assassination, activist and investigative journalist, Abdur-Rahman Muhammad embarks on a complex mission seeking truth in the name of justice. While not directly related to the events of the Soweto Uprising, Malcolm X's legacy of fighting for equal rights rings true to the struggles faced by the youth of 1976. So get out the popcorn and set up the couch for some good watching this Youth Day.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joburg Theatre has gone virtual. This Youth Day, stream their recorded production of Gibson Kente's Too Late performed by the National School of the Arts. A musical drama, Too Late presents a humorous yet heart-breaking snapshot of mid-70s South Africa and Soweto. The play remains hauntingly relevant for today's audience as it offers a reflection of a distant and painful past. Stream it this Youth Day via the Joburg Theatre website or on their YouTube channel.
How will you be celebrating Youth Day this year? Let us know about your plans in the comments section below!
POPArt Theatre has embraced online streaming unlike any other performance venue in Joburg. During lockdown, they've debuted a number of new live shows for you to enjoy at home. This winter, POPArt is showing no signs of slowing down, bringing you a full lineup of online content. Join them for their new bi-weekly series, ZoomProv Live, as well as a live panel discussion with some of the country's most renowned playwrights, Mike Van Graan, Neil Coppen and Jane Taylor. Hosted by Kirsten Harris, this discussion is geared towards high school students learning from home during lockdown. Tickets cost just R120 per household, so book yours ASAP!
Date: Wednesday, 3 June 2020 at 19:00.
Follow POPArt Theatre on Facebook to tune into their live streaming shows.
A week after lockdown was implemented, The Centre for the Less Good Idea was due to host their Season 7 showcase. Instead, their impeccably decisive reaction to move towards online streaming broke ground for many other theatre and arts venues to follow suit. The Centre presented their Season 7 lineup fully online via Facebook Live and their website. You can still watch a few of the season's shows if you haven't caught up yet.
However, the Centre's focus this winter season will be the 'Unprecedented Times' exhibition, curated by Thomas D. Trummer with the Kunsthaus Bregenz gallery in Austria. The Centre will exhibit a number of works from their 'The Long Minute' series - a collection of online videos shared by the Centre on social media and curated by Bronwyn Lace over the last few months. The virtual exhibition opens on Friday, 5 June 2020 and you will be able to access it via the Kunsthaus Bregenz galleries' website.
Follow The Centre for the Less Good Idea on Facebook for more daily online content from the 'Long Minute' series.
Joburg City Theatres have been shut since mid-March in compliance with lockdown regulations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, you can still get your fill of classical ballet, opera, comedy and musical extravagance online via their websites and YouTube channel. Over the past few weeks, Joburg City Theatres have dug deep into their archives to find the best recordings of their most popular shows. Watch Verdi's La Traviata, Janice Honeyman's Snow White Pantomime and the National School of the Arts production of Gibson Kente's Too Late, from the safety of your home this winter.
If all things go according to plan, Joburg Theatre expects to reopen in August for the South African season of William Kentridge's The Head and The Load. This highly-anticipated production was scheduled to open in May 2020, but has since been postponed to early August.
Dates: Thursday, 6 August 2020 - Friday, 14 August 2020.
Visit Webtickets for more information on ticket availability and show times.
The SA State Theatre has gone virtual in response to the extended national lockdown. Their online showcase kicked off on Sunday, 24 May 2020 in celebration of Africa Month. This virtual programme will run until 13 June 2020, bringing audiences the very best of the State Theatre's proudly South African productions from a distance. One of the most highly-anticipated shows for this online season is Ladysmith Black Mambazo Live In Concert. This screening features never-before-seen footage of their award-winning acapella group, not to be missed.
Dates: Sunday, 24 May 2020 – Sunday, 07 June 2020
Subscribe to the SA State Theatre's YouTube channel for daily online content.
&Scene is a new live streaming platform, created by the arts community, for the arts community. Each week the platform debuts a new 'Together Again' series - bringing together the casts and crews of some of South Africa's best big-budget productions from over the last two decades. So far, we've enjoyed content from the creative geniuses behind the South Africa productions of Hairspray, Rent, Mamma Mia! and African Footprint.
Have you ever wanted to know what it takes to carve out a career in the performing arts on the West End or Broadway? Tune into &Scene's 'Spotlight On' series to get first hand advice from South Africans living abroad and "making it big" on international stages.
&Scene is also a proud supporter of the Theatre Benevolent Fund and the Waiting In The Wings campaign. While their online content is free to view, you can make a donation to either of these organisations through the &Scene website. Follow &Scene on Facebook or subscribe to their YouTube channel to watch their weekly series and join in on morning yoga classes, kiddies Cabaret and much more.
By Tarryn Jameson
Looking for more arts-related content online? Check out these exciting digital arts festivals coming up this winter.
Joburg City Theatres comprise of Joburg Theatre, Roodepoort Theatre and Soweto Theatre. As three of the largest and most popular theatre venues in Gauteng, they bring audiences the very best in family-friendly, big-budget theatre year round. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the national lockdown, these world-class venues have had to temporarily close their doors. While this is disappointing for ticket holders and regular patrons, it may prove devastating for the theatre's staff, artists and crew. Nevertheless, Joburg City Theatres have stepped up to the plate, bringing you a selection of their best loved productions online during lockdown!
At the start of lockdown, Joburg City Theatres debuted the #JCTSoloCreativeChallenge, calling on artists, theatre makers and directors to deliver content online, just for you. The theatres then dug into their archives to find live recordings of their best shows to stream online. So far we've seen Janice Honeyman's Snow White the Pantomime, The KZN Heritage Ensemble, Joburg Ballet's Carmen, Verdi's La Traviata and the National School of the Arts production of Gibson Kente's Too Late.
Joburg City Theatres have committed to bringing you weekly shows in lockdown. In honour of Youth Month, they've got a jam-packed online schedule lined up. In partnership with the National School of the Arts, Current State of Poetry, the Indie Foundation and Art Twenty Four Academy, Joburg City Theatres will be celebrating young artists all throughout Youth Month. You can expect a fantastic showcase of theatre, dance, poetry, stand up comedy and much more. Here's what's on the lineup:
Kicking things off, Joburg Theatre presents their Youth Month Special in collaboration with Art Twenty Four Academy and the Indie Foundation. Featuring performances from young and upcoming poets, musicians and comedians, this 45-minute show is a must-see. Stream it on Joburg Theatre's YouTube channel from 21 June 2020.
Up next on the bill is Soweto Theatre's Poetic Thursdays. This event usually draws in audiences from all around Joburg for the best in spoken word performances. Now Soweto Theatre's Poetic Thursdays has gone online for an open mic night unlike any other. The online event takes place on Thursday, 25 June 2020 at 20:00 on Joburg City Theatre's website and YouTube channel.
The NSA in collaboration with the Johannesburg Youth Ballet and Moving Into Dance present The Ruby Suite. Directed by JYB's Mark Hawkins, The Ruby Suite is an eclectic synthesis of neo-classical, flamenco, hip-hop and contemporary dance. Showcasing the versatility of the young dancers from the NSA, Moving Into Dance and the JYB, The Ruby Suite is one of the highlights of Joburg City Theatre's Youth Month lineup. The show will go live online daily between Thursday, 25 June - Sunday, 28 June 2020 at 16:00.
Another one of the National School of the Art's pre-recorded shows, Amanda rounds off the Joburg City Theatre's Youth Month celebrations. Amanda is in Grade 11 and has a major crush on Katy, a white Afrikaans girl. In this sensitive and amusing play, Amanda shares a day in her school-girl life. The play reveals the complexities of the South African socio-political landscape and touches on relevant topics of racism, sexism, gender-based violence and prejudice. The winner of the 2019 Original Works Festival, this play is not to be missed. Stream it online between Thursday, 25 June - Sunday, 28 June 2020 at 16:00 daily.
Joburg City Theatres' online programming is free to watch, but you can help keep them alive and thriving by starting online conversations about your favourite shows. And if you simply cannot wait to settle into those classic red theatre seats again, purchase a Joburg City Theatres voucher from Webtickets to use after lockdown has ended!
Keep an eye on their social media pages to stay up to date with their lockdown entertainment schedule while you stay safe at home:
Details: (Tel) 0861 670 670 | [email protected]
On Wednesday, 26 February 2020, Joburg Theatre, in association with The Centre For the Less Good Idea, excitedly announced that William Kentridge's critically acclaimed theatre spectacular, The Head & the Load, would finally make its South African debut. The show was scheduled to take place in May 2020 at Joburg Theatre for a limited season. By the time President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the stringent measures to be taken to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, tickets were almost sold out. However, seeing as gatherings of over 100 are to be prohibited for an uncertain period of time, the decision was made to postpone the show.
Executive producer, Rachel Chanoff said: "In the light of President Ramaphosa’s declaration of a national state of disaster and after consulting William Kentridge, the performing company, our sponsors, supporters and key stakeholders, including RMB and FNB, we feel it necessary due to the fast-moving nature of the current pandemic to postpone the May season of The Head & the Load until August. The health and well-being of the whole team and of our audiences must be our top priority."
She continued by saying: "Art is a beacon in turbulent times. Over the coming weeks, we’d like to encourage all supporters of the arts to follow The Head & the Load on social media, where we’ll be bringing you a wide range of behind the scenes content, a chance to meet the artists involved in bringing the production to life, plus updates and insights from the cast and creative team. During this challenging period when so many stages will be dark around the world, let’s come together to celebrate our creativity and community."
Anyone with an existing booking for The Head & the Load may transfer it to the future performance dates or claim a full refund via the Joburg Theatre box office before 4 May 2020. Joburg Theatre box office staff will be in touch with all patrons to discuss their preferred ticketing option, or they can be contacted on 011 877 6853/ 6815 | [email protected].
If you have not yet made a booking and would like to do so, please visit Webtickets.
Prices: R600 / R400 / R250
The new dates for the show are as follows:
Thursday, 6 August 2020 at 20:00 (Opening Night)
Friday, 7 August 2020 at 20:00
Saturday, 8 August 2020 at 15:00 (Matinee) and 20:00
Sunday, 9 August 2020 at 20:00
Tuesday, 11 August 2020 at 20:00 (Sold out)
Wednesday, 12 August 2020 at 15:00 (Matinee) and 20:00
Thursday, 13 August 2020 at 20:00
Friday, 14 August 2020 at 20:00 (Final performance)
Click here for more information about The Head & the Load.
Don't forget to follow the show on social media for updates on the show and behind the scenes content:
Facebook.com/The Head & the Load
Instagram & Twitter @headandtheload
#theheadandtheload #williamkentridge @JoburgTheatre
The Peoples Theatre has been in operation for 30 years. Spearheaded by theatre and television veterans, Jill Girard and Keith Smith, this dedicated children's theatre house opened the doors for young people to experience the magic and wonder of live performance, regardless of their backgrounds. This year, The Peoples Theatre celebrates their 20th anniversary at Joburg Theatre. They are situated just above the main theatre complex, opposite the National School of the Arts. Driving past over weekends and during school holidays, you can often spot hordes of excited kiddies and eager parents waiting on the side street to step inside.
The Peoples Theatre interior is cosy and inviting, displaying all of the theatre's past productions on the walls. While the space may feel a little tight to grown-ups, it's the perfect size for little ones attending their first theatre show. Once you step inside the auditorium, an energy of anticipation fills the air. It's a marvel to watch first-time theatre goers wait patiently for the show to begin as they can hardly imagine what to expect. Then, once the curtain rises and their favourite characters from books, movies and television appear right before their eyes, the love for theatre is evidently sparked.
As a lifetime theatre fanatic, I distinctly remember my first outing to The Peoples Theatre to see The Jungle Book. Aged eight and on a school trip for the day, I happily sat right in the front row. With baited breath I waited, as smoke machines billowed out a thick, mysterious fog across the stage. At first a little terrifying, the scene quickly transformed into a joyous song and dance spectacle. Now, The Peoples Theatre yet again present Disney's The Jungle Book Kids, commemorating 20 years of hard work, dedication and tons of fun.
How did your partnership with Joburg Theatre come about?
Janice Honeyman, who was the CEO at the Joburg Theatre at the time, asked Peoples Theatre to move our infrastructure to Joburg Theatre. This was in order to facilitate our production house specialising in shows designed for children and families from all sectors of the community. A big thank you has to go out to Bernard Jay for all the support he showed The Peoples Theatre over the years he was CEO after Janice. We now have the great pleasure of dealing with Xoliswa Nduneni Ngema, the new CEO of the Joburg Theatre, who allows The Peoples Theatre to continue developing the minds of future theatre goers.
What has been your key highlights at The Peoples Theatre over the last 20 years?
Every production has been special in its own right. Our greatest joy was obtaining the rights for Disney’s junior shows, which has helped many young actors and technicians start their careers in musical theatre at the Peoples Theatre.
Why do you believe that children's theatre is still relevant 20 years on?
Children's theatre stimulates and encourages a lifetime of theatre going. The themes and sentiments of our shows are as relevant today and have a lasting impact on children who see these productions. Studies show that, "Experiencing live theatre enables a child to achieve a deeper understanding, social tolerance and a greater ability to question," (Dr Natasha Kirkman).
How do you cater to audiences from preschool age to adulthood?
The content of the shows are appreciated on various levels, depending on the age of the child. A very young child is mesmerised by both the visual and auditory stimulation, whereas an older child and adults will respond to the dialogue, story line and morals drawn from each story, understanding conflict and resolve!
Why should parents bring their children to see your upcoming production of Disney's The Jungle Book Kids?
The Jungle Book is a hugely popular story which has endured for many generations. It's fun-filled with delicious humour, a beautiful set, with the most memorable music score. The hit song, Bare Necessities, is iconic.
How do you believe theatre can change or benefit the lives of young people who come from underprivileged backgrounds?
The Peoples Theatre has always welcomed all children, no matter how challenged they are financially, by offering reduced prices to schools. Theatre builds confidence, stimulates creativity and boosts children's academic performance. We believe that there are both social and academic benefits from taking school groups to live performances.
Finally, can you give us some insight into the amount of work it takes to put on four productions per year at the Peoples Theatre?
Each production, including set, costumes, staging, direction and casting takes approximately 6 - 8 weeks to develop for live performance, depending on the complexity of the piece.
Click here for more information about The Jungle Books Kids, which will be on at the Peoples Theatre from Sunday, 08 March 2020 – Sunday, 26 April 2020.
You can also visit their website for details on upcoming shows, kids club memberships and school tours.
Contact details: Corner Loveday and Hoofd Streets, Joburg Theatre Complex, Braamfontein, Johannesburg | (011) 403-1563 / 2340 | [email protected]
The National School of the Arts (NSA) stands as a beacon of theatre, music and artistic excellence. Their students often go on to have successful careers in their field of expertise, as the school dedicates themselves to honing the talents of each of their students.
Each year during the first school term, the NSA presents their Festival of The Arts, in partnership with Joburg Theatre. Five days of pure entertainment for young and old, the Festival of the Arts is more than just a school showcase. Students not only get to perform and exhibit their work to their parents and peers, but to industry professionals as well. This means that the quality of their work is perfected to highlight their greatest talents. Across the board, from musical theatre to visual art, choral music and even fashion design, the NSA students bring their very best to offer you amazing entertainment.
Whether your child is a performer themselves or simply interested in engaging with their school setworks in a fun, interactive way, this is the perfect family-fun outing. Teachers are also welcomed to bring their classes to the festival at discount block prices. For more information about this, please contact Charmaine Stander on 011 399-6539 ext 208 or via email at [email protected].
This year, the NSA Festival of the Arts commemorates 19 years of bringing Joburg audiences the best youth arts festival in the city. The lineup for 2020 is astounding, with a wide variety of shows on offer. Here are our top picks for the season:
Shakespeare's great tragedy, Hamlet, is the Grade 12 setwork for 2020. Often difficult to understand for students unfamiliar with Elizabethan English and the great existential question "to be, or not to be", Hamlet is a challenging literary mountain to tackle for matriculants. Thankfully, the NSA have reworked this classic masterpiece for the Festival of the Arts 2020 showcase, bringing you Hip Hop Hamlet on stage at the Mandela Theatre. Masterfully weaving Shakespeare's iambic pentameter into a rhythmic hip hop beat, a team of NSA directors and their students bring Hamlet straight into the 21st century.
Hip Hop Hamlet will be staged at Joburg Theatre for the duration of the festival. Click here for more information on dates, times and pricing for this show.
Hidden Language is the flagship production for the 2020 NSA Festival of the Arts. An immersive dance piece, Hidden Language delves into the biographies of the performers, asking what dance means to them. Choreographed by Sean Bovim and Mandla Sunnyboy Motau Ntuli, with the collaboration of NSA teachers and star pupils.
See Hidden Language on stage at Joburg Theatre between Wednesday, 04 March 2020 - Sunday, 08 March 2020. Click here to book your tickets.
The critically acclaimed stage adaptation of Jean Guillou's semi-autobiographical novel, Evil, will be presented as part of the NSA Festival of the Arts. Hot off their season at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square, the creative team behind this gripping drama will set up shop at Joburg Theatre. Ready to thrill audiences with a tale about the abusive and oppressive world of institutionalised bullying, Jaques De Silva plays the lead character, Erik, who heads up a teenage gang after suffering years of abuse at the hands of his step-father.
Evil is an intense work, but its message is deeply poignant, especially in the age of cyber bullying. Bring your teens along to see it between Thursday, 05 March 2020 - Sunday, 08 March 2020 at Joburg Theatre. Click here for more information.
"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams."
The NSA music department presents Music Makers at the 2020 Festival of the Arts on stage at the Lesedi Theatre. Featuring top NSA music students and guest alumni, this musical soirée is set to be an unforgettable experience. This is not to be missed.
The fourth Industrial Revolution is the buzz word of the moment. Parents, bring your older kids to the Elements 4IR exhibition at the NSA Festival of the Arts to get a taste of their future. Featuring an alternate reality exhibition, as well as VR and robotics displays, this is a must-see for kids with an interest in the bridge between technology and art.
Sophie Labelle is an internationally renowned visual artist and author from Montréal. She is the transgender cartoonist behind Assigned Male, a webcomic about a group of queer and trans teenagers that has been running since 2014 and has already touched millions of readers. During this special event, Sophie will share anecdotes and stories related to her work and experience. Don't miss it!
Sophie Labelle will visit NSA on Friday, 06 March 2020 at 11:30. Catch her talk in the NSA Main Hall.
The NSA welcomes two of Joburg's most renowned film schools of the Festival of the Arts in 2020. Both AFDA and the Animation School will exhibit during the festival. If your child is thinking of pursuing a career in film after high school, bring them along to see the fine work produced by these institutions.
Visit the NSA Festival of the Arts website for more information about schedules, workshops and ticket prices. You can also follow them on social media:
Facebook - www.facebook.com/festivaloffame
Twitter - twitter.com/NsaArt
Details: 011 399-6539 EXT 208 | [email protected]
Address: NSA - 17 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg | Joburg Theatre - 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
What Is It?
The "bare necessities of life" are headed straight to you this March as the Peoples Theatre brings Disney's The Jungle Book to life! Come and see all your favourite characters live on stage in celebration of the Peoples Theatre's 20th anniversary at Joburg Theatre. It's going to be a rumble in the jungle affair. Watch as the brave Mowgli teams up with the tenacious Bagheera (played by Thokozani Jiyani) and the rambunctious Baloo (played by Luciano Zuppa) to defeat the conniving Shere Khan. This dashing cast will perform all your most loved hits from the original 1967 Disney film, including The Bare Necessities, I Wanna Be Like You and many more.
The Jungle Book is the perfect family-fun outing for the school holidays, so get booking those tickets as soon as possible!
When Is It?
Preview: Monday, 02 March 2020.
Official show opening: Saturday, 07 March 2020 - Sunday, 26 April 2020.
Where Is It?
Peoples Theatre, Cnr Hoofd and Loveday Streets, Joburg Theatre Complex, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
How Much Is It?
Tickets cost R145 per person for non-members and R100 per person for Peoples Theatre Kids Club members. Book your tickets here.
For More Information
The 19th annual National School of the Arts Festival takes place this March at Joburg Theatre. Kicking off the festival is the riveting Hip Hop Hamlet directed by NSA duo Laine Butler and Johan Anker. Shakespeare's greatest tragedy, Hamlet is the Grade 12 setwork for 2020, so this production provides an excellent opportunity for learners to engage with the work up close. With the added flair of hip hop beats and clever lyrical sonnets, Hip Hop Hamlet is a must-see for young people. Don't let your kids miss out!
Wednesday, 04 March 2020 - Sunday, 08 March 2020.
Joburg Theatre, 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Tickets cost R80 - R100 per person on Webtickets.
Visit www.joburgtheatre.com for more information about this show, or follow the NSA on social media:
Facebook - www.facebook.com/festivaloffame
Details: (+27) 11 339 6539 | [email protected]
Joburg Ballet invite you to get up close and personal with two of the world's best international dancers. Marianela Nunez and Vadim Muntagirov will take to the stage this March in Joburg Ballet's Don Quixote. A ballet filled with passion, tension and drama, this highly anticipated production kicks off what it set to be a stellar year for the company. Come and see Nunez and Muntagirov perform their best, after which you will be treated to an intimate meet and greet session with the stars. Ballet fanatics, this one is just for you, so don't miss out!
Friday, 20 March 2020 from 19:30-23:30
Joburg Theatre, 163 Civic Bouelvard, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Tickets cost R1000 for members of Friends of the Ballet, as well as one guest per member. If you haven't secured a membership yet, join here.
To book your up close and personal meet and greet with the Joburg Ballet stars please email [email protected]
Details: 011 877 6898 | [email protected]
What Is It?
This year's cast is packed full of star names to thrill each of the anticipated 60,000 theatre patrons who will see the panto. With the dynamic Desmond Dube and Ben Voss as the Ugly Stepsisters and Connie Chiume as the Fairy Godmother, Janice Honeyman's Pantomime Cinderella, is bound to be a spectacular show.
Once Upon A Time a girl named Cinderella lived with her two ugly stepsisters. Poor Cinderella had to work hard all day long so the others could rest. One day, big news came to town. The King and Queen were going to have a Ball! It was time for Prince Charming to find a bride, who will he choose? Make sure you come find out!
You know that the show will be packed with an abundance of comedy, stunning sets, hundreds of beautiful costumes and, of course, the spectacular panto moment when Cinderella is transformed from rags to riches and whisked off to the Ball – with the help of a little dusting of fairy godmother magic. Make sure you don't miss any of the action.
When Is It?
Wednesday, 28 October 2020 - Sunday, 20 December 2020.
Where Is It?
Mandela Theatre at Joburg Theatre, 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
How Much Is It?
Tickets cost between R115 - R240 per person. Make sure you buy yours on this website!
For More Information
Visit the Joburg Theatre website for more information. Alternatively, you can follow them on social media for updates about events and forthcoming shows:
Facebook - www.facebook.com/joburgtheatre
Twitter - twitter.com/joburgtheatre
Details: 0861 670 670 | [email protected]
What Is It?
The second edition of the Isandlwana Battle Musical Lectire returns to Joburg Theatre. Mbuso Khoza, founder of Value of Culture, musician, historian and heritage enthusiast will be accompanied, once again, by the Afrikan Heritage Ensemble (a 16 member Acapella group which Khoza formed four years ago) as they present the happenings of the 22nd of January 1879 using the language of music.
The Isandlwana Lecture sees Khoza presenting not only a gripping picture of the pressures that drove both sides to a terrifying and bloody confrontation, but a definitive history of the battle that has shaped the political fortunes of not only the Zulu people but of the entire African population in this part of the world to this day. The Isandlwana Battle Musical Lecture demonstrates how ‘unity of purpose’ has achieved what experts would have called impossible. So, if you know you and your friends would appreciate this show, be sure not to miss it!
When Is It?
Friday, 24 January 2020 - Sunday, 26 January 2020.
Where Is It?
Joburg Theatre, 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
How Much Is It?
Tickets are R250 per person, you can get yours here!
For More Information
Visit this website for more information.
What Is It?
Joburg Ballet is proud to present two of the world’s most distinguished ballet stars – Marianela Nuñez and Vadim Muntagirov of The Royal Ballet – in the great 19th-century ballet, Don Quixote.
Be wowed by the extraordinary and thrilling performance in Don Quixote, telling the story of a noble lady who expresses deeply and whose feather-light nature shines through.
Expect a spectacular piece, with powerful movement and technique. The sharp choreography by Marius Petipa promises to take your breath away.
Where Is It?
Mandela Stage, Joburg Theatre, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, Gauteng.
When Is It?
Friday, 13 March 2020 at 14:00.
How Much Is It?
Tickets are R110 - R262 per person, get your tickets here.
For More Information
For more information about this event, click here.
Can you believe that veteran stage director, Janice Honeyman has been behind the wheels of the annual Pantomime for 32 years? In 1987, a fresh-faced Honeyman created her first ever Panto at the Alexander Theatre in Braamfontein. Three decades on and she has just as much fun as ever bringing Joburg audiences a big-budget Christmas musical with a unique South African twist.
Honeyman presents Jack and the Beanstalk on stage at Joburg Theatre for the first time since 2012. Featuring a stellar cast, vibrant set and costumes and the year's biggest music hits, this Panto spectacular is well worth taking the kids to this holiday season. After all, what would December be without Janice Honeyman's iconic blend of song, dance and fairytale magic?
While the directorship behind the Pantomime is well seasoned, the young cast brings an air of frivolity and fun to the stage. Making their Panto lead debuts, Zolani Shangase (as our hero Jack The Joller) and Dezlenne Ulster-Weale (as Raspberry Rose) will have the little ones giggling in fits of laughter, gasping in awe and sighing in admiration. I must admit that the tired tale of boy meets girl, boy saves girl from hungry tyrannical giant, is a little stale. These characters nevertheless endear themselves to audiences young and old. However, their vocal prowess is somewhat outshone by the more mature cast members. But their portrayal of a young romance is sweet, nonetheless.
Other youthful standouts include Gugu Dhlamini and Ashleigh Butcher as Jack's twins sussies, Sjoepied Suzy and Sagkop Sally. Their constant references to 'Snapchat, Insta and #everything' can be tedious, but their physical performances make up for this. In fact, the entire backing cast delivered great physicality in the well choreographed dance sequences. Kiddies will love the display of acrobatics and quick-footed moves.
Before I give a round of applause to the dames and villains of this Panto, I must mention the two absolute stars of the show - Henrietta the Hen and Daisy the Cow. The clucking chicken, performed by Noni Mkhonto, had the audience in stitches of laughter. However, it was super cute Moo Daisy who won the hearts of all, including Jack the Joller. Well done on your utterly convincing performances!
Now, onto the big guns of the production. This year's Panto is truly a star-studded affair, featuring bigwigs Lelo Ramasimong, Germandt Geldenhuys, Clive Gilson and Neo Motaung as the Dames, Dudes and lovable Good Fairy. Each delivered a noteworthy performance, but the Panto crown goes to Germandt Geldenhuys this year. His portrayal of Jack's hefty mother, Mies Miemie Mosbolletjie-Melba, was outstanding. With vocals like this, he is sure to go very far in the theatre world.
Of course, I have yet to mention this year's super villain. Played by actor, comedian, writer and and radio host, Casper de Vries, Hendrink Hideoso had the children booing with complete conviction. Surprisingly, de Vries seemed uncomfortable in his role. Perhaps as the show runs he will become more accustomed to playing the 'baddie'. Nevertheless, his presence is undoubtedly a big draw card for grannies and super fans.
Jack and the Beanstalk was my first ever Panto experience way back in the early 2000s. While the show has adapted with the times, the set remains almost the same. The mechanical giant was as terrifying as ever, while the magical growing beanstalk had kids gasping in wonder. I must concur that the overall stage picture was one of the most vibrant Pantos in recent years. With 1980s resplendence, the costumes and disco lights create an atmosphere of celebration. This is a great way to kick off the silly season, all the while keeping the kids entertained. Go see it now!
Janice Honeyman's Jack and the Beanstalk will be staged at Joburg Theatre on the Mandela Stage until Sunday, 22 December 2019. Book your tickets here.
Visit the Joburg Theatre website for more information, or follow them on social media:
Facebook - facebook.com/joburgtheatre
Twitter - twitter.com/joburgtheatre
Details: 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein, Johannesburg | [email protected] | Box Office Tel: 0861 670 670
The Peoples Theatre in Braamfontein has been bringing world-class children's theatre to the stage for over 20 years, spearheaded by theatre and television veterans, Keith Smith and Jill Girard. The Peoples Theatre produces four full productions each year, often bringing classic fairy-tales to life. While their theatre is geared for children aged 3 - 12, The Peoples Theatre also keeps parents and older siblings in mind. Providing a fantastic experience for young and old, this tiny theatre on a hill is vital to introducing children to the arts.
The Peoples Theatre works in close association with schools across Johannesburg. Nearly 80% of their audiences who come to see a show with their school would not have otherwise been exposed to theatre. Welcoming in children from diverse backgrounds and socio-economic experiences, the Peoples Theatre opens up a world of magic and wonder to all.
Taking your child to the theatre for the first time can be an incredible bonding experience. Watching their face as the story unfolds just metres away is pure joy. Why not take some time during the upcoming autumn school holidays and treat the kids to a day out at the Peoples Theatre? From Sunday, 08 March 2020 to Sunday, 26 April 2020, the theatre presents Disney's The Jungle Book Kids! This fantastic musical adventure is based on the 1967 film and features all your most loved songs. Join in on The Bare Necessities, I Wanna Be Like You and many more. The Jungle Book Kids is the ultimate family-fun adventure. Book your tickets now to avoid missing out!
When Is It?
The show officially opens on Sunday, 08 March 2020 and runs until Sunday, 26 April 2020.
Monday - Friday at 09:00 and 11:00.
Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 and 14:30.
Where Is It?
The People's Theatre, Joburg Theatre Complex, 33 Loveday Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
How Much Is It?
Tickets cost R145 per person for the general public, or R100 per person for members of the Peoples Theatre Kids Club. Book your tickets by contacting 011 403 1563/2340 or via email at [email protected]
The Peoples Theatre recently announced their lineup for the rest of the 2020 season. You can expect big things as Peter Pan Junior and Disney's The Little Mermaid Junior take to the stage in June-July and November- December respectively. As always, the Peoples Theatre are sure to deliver their unique brand of fun for all ages, with sing-alongs, stunning sets and stellar casts. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates on upcoming shows!
Kids Club members receive a number of discounts on tickets, as well as special benefits. With over 3000 members, this kiddies theatre club is well worth signing up for. Here are some of the nifty benefits that come with being a member:
The yearly membership fee is just R120. If you would like to become a member of the club, click here.
Visit their website for more information. Or, you can follow them on social media:
Facebook - facebook.com/PeoplesTheatre
Twitter - twitter.com/peoples_theatre
The Indigo View Advanced Actors Academy presents a series of comical, dramatic and sometimes absurd theatrical skits at Joburg Theatre this November. Come and see the fruits of their labour as they perform scenes directed by Steven Feinstein. City Scenes deals with the idea that as human beings we all share universal struggles, trials, victories and failures. Bringing the cast and audience together through their common humanity, this show is a must-see.
When Is It?
Saturday, 02 November 2019 at 18:00 and Sunday, 03 November 2019 at 15:00.
Joburg Theatre, 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Tickets cost R140 per person. Book yours here.
Visit the Joburg Theatre website for more information, or follow their social media pages:
Facebook - facebook.com/joburgtheatre
Twitter - twitter.com/joburgtheatre
Details: 0861 670 670 | [email protected]
Joburg Ballet stages four full productions a year, as well as shorter ballets choreographed by their very own dancers. In 2019, they lit up Joburg stages with Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Unbound and Giselle. The company also travels across South Africa, visiting communities who may have never encountered ballet before. Presenting snippets of their productions, they offer these audiences an intimate encounter with much-loved characters, such as Giselle, Odette and Snow White.
But, Joburg Ballet is far more than just a professional ballet company. As a registered charity organisation, the company works in underprivileged communities around Johannesburg. Bringing the joy of dance to children and adults alike, Joburg Ballet strives to endear the art of ballet to new audiences. However, the love of dance alone cannot keep them afloat. Relying on generous donations, ticket sales and support from their fans, Joburg Ballet balances the scale of financing productions, staff salaries and purchasing equipment.
There are a number of ways to show your support of Joburg Ballet. The most obvious would be to attend their shows. However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the subsequent national lockdown, it may be awhile before any of us can head out to the ballet again. A few weeks before lockdown was implemented, Joburg Ballet kicked off their 2020 season with Don Quixote. Setting the Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre alight with passion and romance, their first show for the season saw major international ballet stars, Marianela Núñez and Vadim Muntagirov of The Royal Ballet take the lead.
This scintillating classic tells the story of beautiful, audacious Kitri and her love for the dashing but poor barber, Basilio. Her father, however, has more ambitious plans for his headstrong daughter, hoping to marry her off to a wealthy suitor. However, like all good stories, love conquers all in the end. Featuring celebrated showpieces, including the famous Don Quixote Pas de Deux, this ballet was to be highly-anticipated by Joburg Ballet supporters and classical dance fanatics across Johannesburg.
Sadly, after only four performances, the season was cancelled on 15 March 2020. The Mail and Guardian has since reported that Joburg Ballet has lost an estimated R1 million due to the cancellation. Chief executive at Joburg Ballet, Esther Nasser, said, "You can imagine the impact of cancelling the guest artists, Marianela Núñez and Vadim Muntagirov from the Royal Ballet, as well as the gala in Cape Town, which was to follow after the Don Quixote performances."
In an Instagram post on 24 March 2020, Joburg Ballet thanked all the people who had already bought tickets for the show for donating the funds to the company rather than asking for a refund. "The cancellation of six of the season’s 10 performances has obviously had an impact on Joburg Ballet and your generosity will help the ballet company through the tough times ahead," they wrote.
If you would like to support Joburg Ballet through these difficult times, read on to find out about their loyalty programmes and plans to continue to bring you the magic of dance through the remainder of the lockdown:
Friends of the Ballet is an organisation for the loyal supporters of the Joburg Ballet. Their motto, 'Growing Ballet', represents their goal to build awareness around the importance of the ballet. A non-profit organization, FOTB raises funds via membership, the Friends Merchandise Table and an annual fundraising event. They also host informative talks about ballet, discussions with choreographers, dancers and musicians, allowing new fans to experience all the magic behind the scenes.
Anyone is welcome to become a Friend of the Ballet. There are a number of membership options, including an Under 21s card, couples membership, over 60s and VIP membership. Members receive discounts on tickets, special invitations to performances and events and free merchandise. Sign up here.
If you aren't able to join the Friends of the Ballet just yet, there is another way to give back to Joburg Ballet. Simply swipe your My School card at Woolworths, Engen or online with Loot.co.za. You can support up to three schools or charities with one card. Make Joburg Ballet one of your beneficiaries by registering on the My School website. With every swipe, you can help support Joburg Ballet's productions, dancers and development work across Johannesburg.
Joburg Ballet hosts regular adult ballet classes at their studios in Braamfontein under normal circumstances. But due to lockdown regulations, both the company's professional and amateur dancers have been honing their skills at home in preparation for their grand return to the studio floor. Artistic director, Ian MacDonald has said, "It’s frustrating for the dancers not to be able to perform, as they have all worked incredibly hard on their individual interpretation of their roles within the production."
That's why Joburg Ballet now present Chair Barre Lockdown classes online! Every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday you can join company manager Chase Bosch and Principal dancer Shannon Glover as they alternate for a 40-minute adult ballet beginners class. The class will take place on ZOOM, so download the app and join in for fun-filled class! The dancers will also be recording the classes, so if you happen to miss the class you can do it at a later stage. While these classes are free of charge, by joining you are keeping the love of dance alive and showing your support to the Joburg Ballet dancers during this turbulent time. So, get on those tights and ballet pumps and dance up a storm from home!
For more information about their upcoming productions, visit their website.
Details: Corner of Loveday Street and Hoofd Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg | 011 877 6898 | [email protected]
The Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre is one of the largest in the city. Seating 2,000 audience members, the Mandela Theatre is ideal for opera, musicals and ballet. The red velvet embellishments of this theatre similarly add to the air of opulence and drama. Having staged the great classics including La Traviata and Carmen, Joburg Theatre is a must-visit for opera lovers.
Details: 0861 670 670 | 163 Civic Boulevard, Braamfontein, Johannesburg | [email protected]
The Teatro at Montecasino has hosted the MTN Opera Jewels concert for four consecutive years. The 2019 edition saw tenor Levy Sekgapane unleash his vocal power alongside the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. The Teatro's magnificent architecture hearkens back to the heydays of the opera scene. The grand staircases which lead into the auditorium also give one a sense of theatre greatness. Deck yourself out in fancy dress the next time you visit!
The 2020 MTN Opera Jewels concert should take place between March and April. Watch out for updates on the Montecasino website.
Details: +27 11 510 7398 | 1 Montecasino Boulevard, Montecasino, Fourways, Johannesburg
Nebula Cinemas is the official home of the Royal Opera House in Johannesburg. They recently made a move from Delta Park to the CineCentre at Killarney Mall, to bring opera fans the very best international theatre with stunning clarity and sound. Their second venue in Benoni is much more niche, catering to smaller audiences. However, this micro theatre still delivers the grandeur and emotion of the Royal Opera, despite its size.
The 2020 Royal Opera House season promises to have you right on the edge of your seat, performing La Traviata, La Boheme, Don Giovanni, Don Pasquale and Elektra. Don't miss out on these world class performances!
Details: 011 425 2371 | [email protected]
The Linder Auditorium is the official home of the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Performing year round, the JPO often partners with the best local and operatic voices to bring audiences a magical symphony of sound. The orchestra is currently showcasing their Spring Season 2019, which is on until Friday, 15 November 2019. However, if you can't make it to these shows, you can look forward to the annual Christmas with Richard Cock experience, featuring the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg and Johannesburg Festival Orchestra. Joined on stage by tenor Siyabongo Maqungo, this Christmas concert isn't your typical carols by candlelight.
Click here for more information about this event.
Details: 011 717 3223/3007 | Education Campus, University of the Witwatersrand, 27 St Andrews Road, Parktown, Johannesburg | [email protected]
If young operatic talent is what you are looking for, then search no further than the UJ Arts Centre. Championed by the Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture, baritone Federico Freschi, the young tenors and sopranos take over the stage. Hosting the faculty's A Grand Night For Singing concert, the UJ Arts Centre offers students a platform to showcase their talents. Combining opera, song and dance, these concerts feature acclaimed guest musicians as well as the renowned UJ Choir.
Check out the UJ Arts Centre website for upcoming student shows.
Details: 011 559 4674 | UJ Kingsway Campus, Corner of Kingsway Ave and University Rd, Auckland Park, Johannesburg | [email protected]
Sometimes, you have to travel to experience the best opera the country has to offer. The SA State Theatre in Pretoria is the home of South African opera. Their mission is to promote South African opera - composed, written and performed by South Africans. Bringing the medium to new audiences, and ultimately keeping the art form alive with a new generation of adoring fans.
You can travel to the SA State Theatre via the Gautrain, so there is no need to stress about traffic. Follow them on Facebook for news and updates.
Details: 012 392 4139 | 320 Pretorius Street, Pretoria, Gauteng | [email protected]
Another Pretoria opera venue worth visiting is the Brooklyn Theatre. Home of the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra, Brooklyn Theatre stages two full opera productions a year. Local and international singers are joined by the GPO in a bid to keep opera alive and thriving. Kicking off their 2020 season, Brooklyn Theatre presents Mozart's The Magic Flute. Hailed as one of the greatest operas ever written, The Magic Flute transcends time and social boundaries to touch the hearts of all who see it. There will only be four performances of this production, so make sure to book your tickets as early as possible.
Details: (012) 460 6033 | Greenlyn Village Centre, Shop 21/Theatre, C/o Thomas Edison and 13th Streets, Menlo Park, Pretoria | [email protected]
Do you know of any other opera venues in the city? Let us know about them!
After a three-year hiatus from the stage, Joburg Ballet's production of Giselle returns for a 10 show season at Joburg Theatre. Giselle is a ballet in two acts which takes place in 17th Century Rhineland, West Germany:
Giselle, a peasant girl, unabashedly falls in love with Count Albrecht. He disrobes the cloak and sword which identify him as nobility, and begins a love affair with Giselle, tricking her into believing that he is a villager named Loys. Despite warnings from her mother and Hilarion, a local forester who is in love with her, Giselle trusts that Loys will be honest and true.
Count Albrecht's true identity is revealed by Hilarion during the village spring festivities. He discovers Albrecht's cloak and sword, which match the noble insignia on a hunting horn belonging to the Duke of Courland and his daughter, Bathilde, Albrecht's betrothed. Giselle is shattered by the betrayal and she descends into madness, dying of a broken heart.
Join us this Sunday for OPEN DAY or in October at Joburg Theatre with The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra for the Romantic ballet GISELLE. Open Day Bookings via Edgar on 011876898 or email@example.com - Bookings for the show via WebticketsThank you for the video Lauge Sorensen
由 Joburg Ballet 发布于 2019年9月18日周三
The second act of the ballet sees Giselle awoken from her grave by the haunting Wilis, a ghostly group of young women jilted by men, who have died before their wedding day. The Wilis avenge their sorrows by dancing any man they come across during the hours of darkness in the Rhineland forest to death. Myrthe, their queen, is relentless in her damnation of male kind. She initiates Giselle into the Wilis rites, shortly before Albrecht enters to visit her unhallowed grave. Giselle appears to Albrecht as if in a dream. Meanwhile, the Wilis hunt down Hilarion, dancing him into exhaustion and driving him to his death in the lake.
Giselle does everything in her power to protect Albrecht from Myrthe's wrath. However, she is overcome by Mythre's control over her and he is drawn into the dance. Giselle attempts to sustain him through the night, but he grows weaker by the minute. Just as Albrecht's death seems final, dawn breaks and the Wilis disappear. Giselle fades away with them and the Count is left alone to grieve.
I distinctly remember the first occasion I saw Joburg Ballet perform Giselle. I was eleven and totally taken aback by the beauty and complexity of the story. The ultimate romance, Giselle is my favourite ballet.
Not wishing to lace this review with bias, I stepped into Joburg Theatre without expectations. I hoped to see Giselle in a new light, with the eyes of a critic. I readied myself to analyse and examine all aspects of Joburg Ballet's production. But as soon as the curtains opened, I lost sense of myself, being swept up into the story and performance. Bringing to life the Rhineland setting, Johan Engels' set design, partnered with exquisite lighting from Simon King, set the stage for a magical experience.
French-born principal dancer, Anaïs Chalendard is the consummate ballerina - petite, graceful and passionate. Her presence as Giselle immediately dominated the stage, as she stepped out in a sweet blue frock crafted by Joburg Ballet costumier, Yolanda Roos. Standing out starkly from the corps de ballet dressed in earthy browns and umber, Chalendard's Giselle was full of innocence and light. Upon Giselle's betrayal, Chalendard launched into madness with ease. Her performance of Giselle's ghost truly endeared her to the audience. Weightless and melancholic, she drifted about the stage in a wisp. Receiving rapturous applause at curtain call, it was an utter treat to see Chalendard give this performance.
Joburg Ballet soloist, Leusson Muniz took on the role of Count Albrecht with all the grace and composure of a professional dancer at his peak. I saw Muniz perform earlier this year in Joburg Ballet's Unbound. As such, his skill and execution of the lifts, turns and strenuous solos demanded by Giselle did not surprise me. However, the emotional quality of his dancing surpassed the level usually seen in male soloist performances. From the joys of young love, to the grief of Giselle's untimely death, Muniz delivered a perfect Count Albrecht.
Lastly, but certainly not least, Claudio Monja made the ideal Queen of the Wilis. Her stark expressions conveyed all the meaning needed, creating conflict and rising tension. Her near defeat by the rise of dawn came as a welcomed resolution. Congratulations on being so convincingly wicked.
I must give a special mention to the corps de ballet. Their energy was delightful, bringing such character to the production. Opening court scenes can be lengthy and tiresome, but thanks to the personality of these dancers, time whiled itself away all too quickly. The junior dancers from Joburg Ballet School similarly left the audience chuckling and gushing over their cuteness. It was a pity that these little dancers-in-the-making did not come out onto stage at the applause to receive their moment in the spotlight. High fives to all of you!
The only niggle I pinpointed by the corps de ballet's performance came in Act II. As the Wilis glide over the marsh, there should be little sound from the dancer's heels hitting the stage floor. The clanking of their pointe shoes distracted from the eeriness of this scene. However, understanding how difficult this movement is, they can be easily forgiven.
Overall, Joburg Ballet's Giselle was a sensational delight. I highly recommend that you see it before the season ends on Sunday, 13 October 2019.
Book your tickets here.
Joburg Ballet's artistic director, Ian MacDonald, shared some exciting news with the audience on opening night - March 2020 will see Joburg Theatre's Mandela Stage set alight with fiery passion in Don Quixote. But, that's not all. Joburg Ballet welcomes two of the world's greatest international dancers, Marianela Nuñes and Vadim Muntagirov, as their stars for the season! These principals of the Royal Ballet are a sight to behold, so be sure to book your early bird tickets.
Sadly, Joburg Ballet also announced the professional retirement of both Anaïs Chalendard and seasoned principal Nicole Ferreira-Dill, who has performed in Snow White and Sleeping Beauty among many others. Ms Ferreria-Dill has performed with Joburg Ballet for the past 13 years, and will be sadly missed.
Visit Joburg Ballet's website for more information - joburgballet.com
You can also follow them on social media for the latest event updates, ticket specials and insights into the magical world of ballet:
Facebook - facebook.com/JoburgBalletCompany
Twitter - twitter.com/JoburgBallet
Instagram - instagram.com/joburgballet
Details: Corner of Loveday Street and Hoofd Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg | +27(0)11 877 6898 | [email protected]