Preview: Shakespeare, ballet, opera and music at 2023 Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival – January 19 to March 5

Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival – 2023  

When: January 19 to March 5, 2023
Where:  Maynardville Park, Piers Road, Wynberg, Cape Town, 7800  

Dates of shows:   

~January 19 – 21 – The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra
~January 26 – 29 – Cape Town Opera February 2 – 23 – Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
~March 1 – 5 – Cape Town City Ballet- SummerSnow programme  

Scroll down for details of shows – see posters
Book here:

School block bookings: E-mail for information and block bookings

Weather line: Weather line: 083 449 1000 – after 5pm
Food: Maynardville Evening Food Market – food and drink may be purchased from food trucks at the evening market- no outside picnics into venue

Maynardville website:    
VR Theatrical website:

#Maynardville #MaynardvilleTheatre #OpenAirTheatre #OutdoorTheatre #Shakespeare #ShakespeareinAfrica #ShakespeareInThePark #SouthAfricanTheatre

An iconic Cape Town summer experience is the Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival. Thrilling news is that after an absence of three years, the festival is back for 2023- with a fantastic programme which includes opera, ballet, music and the signature Maynardville Shakespeare production. Geoffrey Hyland is directing A Midsummer Nights’ Dream (February 2 – 23).  This production, follows his direction of the award winning, Richard the III, at Maynardville in 2019. Cape Town Opera is presenting two programmes of varied works with its acclaimed opera chorus (January 26-29). Cape Town City Ballet will be performing two works under the title, SummerSnow (March 1-5). The season opens tomorrow, January 19, with Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, playing Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Symphony, interspersed with dialogue and anecdotes by John Woodland. Book here: Read on for more. Info as supplied:

Bringing in a new season at the Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival 

Cape Town’s classical open air theatre experience in Maynardville Park, Wynberg, is back this summer after a three year hiatus and is now under the management of award-winning entertainment production company VR Theatrical (Jaco van Rensburg and Wessel Odendaal). 

The Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival season is always a summer highlight and has in recent years come to include more than just the traditional Shakespeare play, with a full line-up of classics under the stars. VR Theatrical is keeping this expanded seasonal format, blending Shakespeare with classical concerts across the genres. 

The 2023 Shakespeare play will be the magical and much-loved A Midsummer Nights’ Dream. Directed by Geoffrey Hyland which, after his tremendous successes with Richard the Third (2019) and Twelfth Night (2017), promises to be a new spin on this fantastical classic. The production will star Chi Mhende and Mark Elderkin. 

Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra will present a musical A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn as the orchestral programme and Cape Town City Ballet will present a programme of two works under the title SummerSnow – contrasting the heat of summer with performances inspired by sharp, icy winter themes. Maynardville Festival’s programme will also put Cape Town Opera under the night sky with an unmissable choral performance and soloists singing Songs of Shakespeare in tribute to the great bard.

The Maynardville Evening Food Market

The tradition of enjoying a picnic in the park continues to be part of the Maynardville theatre ritual but picnics can now be pre-ordered from the Festival organisers and collected on arrival. Patrons can also enjoy a range of food and drinks from the Maynardville Evening Food Market which will be running throughout the Festival and will be open for all to enjoy in the summer evenings. 

The producers

VR Theatrical’s Van Rensburg and Odendaal are experienced producers, having presented blockbuster Broadway plays and musicals, and commissioned and developed original, new theatrical productions.

Says Van Rensburg, “We recently opened a new production office in Cape Town and were absolutely thrilled when the opportunity to present Maynardville came our way. It is a cornerstone of the Cape Town theatre calendar with history dating back to 1956 when two brave and ambitious women, Cecilia Sonnenberg and Rene Ahrenson, staged the first Shakespeare play at Maynardville. It was a bold idea that paid off and has been a tradition for many over the years. We are hoping to honour this legacy by presenting a summer season that delights, entertains and celebrates the return of live theatre that will give us all a few hours of pure magic under the stars.” 

VR Theatrical’s mandate of theatre education has a strong developmental element and the Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival will be partnering with the Open Culture Foundation to kickstart a personal development programme focused on the training and upskilling of a new generation of technical theatre producers across sound, light and stage management.

Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival 2023, Cape Town:   Book here:
Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival 2023, Cape Town:   Book here:
Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival 2023, Cape Town:   Book here:
Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival, 2023, Cape Town:   Book here:
Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival 2023, Cape Town:   Book here:
Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival 2023, Cape Town:   Book here:

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