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PRESS: Theatre under the stars at Maynardville - a Cape Town tradition since the 1950's

Rabbit in a Hat Communications


Enclosed in its magical setting surrounded by trees, the stage at Maynardville Park’s amphitheatre in Wynberg will come to life again from 18 January – 25 February for the 2024 Maynardville Open-Air Festival.

A programme of orchestral and classical evenings set the scene in the opening weeks and  choral and musical evenings are interspersed with and after the longer run of the annual Shakespeare play in the park. This year it’s the turn of the lovers: Romeo and Juliet.

Many Capetonians will remember their first encounter with Maynardville as part of a school group or on a coveted Valentine’s night date, but the birth of Maynardville is very much thanks to the determination of a number of formidable women. Margaret Molteno, Chair of the Athlone Committee for Nursery Education founded a theatre in Maynardville in 1950 to fund the building of new schools. The new theatre largely staged ballet, including the works of Dulcie Howes. It was a huge success with a then multi-racial audience. Encouraged, Molteno invited well-known performers, Cecilia Sonnenberg, and Rene Ahrenson, to stage Shakespeare there and so began a beloved tradition with the pair working tirelessly to bring a world-class production to the stage.

Maynardville’s inaugural 1956 Shakespeare production was The Taming of the Shrew with famous British actor Leslie French, who travelled to Cape Town to star in the production. Patrons soon began bringing a picnic into the park to enjoy on the lawns before the show. A tradition that continues - except patrons now have the option to buy their ‘picnic’ from the gourmet on-site food truck vendors with options like pizza, poke bowls, Mexican and more. A full bar selling wine, beer and spirits as well as a coffee pop-up are also on offer.

For many years, Maynardville was run by Artscape (and the former CAPAB) until it was taken over by Liquid Match Productions until 2019. Shuttered during the COVID years, Maynardville was revived under new producers VR Theatrical in 2023. Through the playful direction of Geoffrey Hyland, A Midsummer Night’s Dream brought younger audiences to the outdoor theatre and the tradition was revived for a new generation.

The producers of the Maynardville Open Air Festival would like to acknowledge the support of the City of Cape Town in securing the continued sustainability of the Festival.

Here's what to expect from the 2024 Maynardville Open-Air Festival:


18 January 2024

An evening of musical brilliance as Maynardville presents Rachmaninoff Rendezvous under the starry sky. Celebrate the timeless legacy of Sergei Rachmaninoff in the hundredth year of commemoration.


19 – 21 January 2024 

A musical journey through the timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. An extraordinary performance that will transcend time and evoke the essence of the tragic love story, presenting a musical landscape beyond the familiar compositions.


25 January – 24 February 2024 

Step into the tumultuous world of Verona as Maynardville presents William Shakespeare’s timeless masterpiece, Romeo and Juliet. Witness the enduring power of love as it triumphs over adversity. Shakespeare’s profound insights into the human spirit are brought to life in a new rendition of this iconic play.


4 February 2024

Maynardville journeys into the world of opera as it presents ‘An Evening with Cape Town Opera.’ Boasting exceptional talent and the rich cultural heritage of Cape Town Opera, this is a unique opportunity to experience the magic of world-class opera performances beneath the stars.


11 February 2024

Enter the magical world of classic musicals with ‘A Night at the Musicals.’ Iconic melodies from beloved shows will take the audience on a nostalgic journey.


25 February 2024

Experience the enchanting voices of renowned choirs Tygerberg Children’s Choir, South African Youth Choir and Vivox Voices as they create choral bliss.

All the information can be found at 

Tickets can be booked via Quicket.

Prices for all events range between R190 and R320 with concessions available for pensioners, students and families as follows: 


Pensioners & Students: 15% Off On All Tiers. Please Present ID On Arrival.


Family of Four Discount: R260/R200 per four Premium/Tier 2 Tickets.

Follow on social media 

Instagram: Maynardville 

Facebook: Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival 


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