Live on stage: The new Kalk Bay Theatre at The Brass Bell, launches, November 2020

Address: The Kalk Bay Theatre at the Brass Bell, Main Rd, Kalk Bay, 7975

Show times: Friday and Saturday nights for Followspot shows (occasional Thursdays), Sundays – original music; Wednesdays – comedy


Tickets: Prices vary per show. R185 for launch show, Man Band II – opens November 6

Theatre goers were gutted to hear that the Kalk Bay Theatre had to close, during lockdown. It was a massive blow for theatre in the Southern Suburbs. Attending the KBT was always a tonic – an upper of an evening – with the entertaining programming. That was then and this is now, with an exciting new era for the much loved theatre. The Kalk Bay Theatre is re-opening on November 6, 2020, at its new venue, at The Brass Bell, Kalk Bay, Cape Town. The opening show is Man Band II.

The theatre will be in the space that used to be the Bell’s Bikini Bar. Karaoke and music events were held in the past in the bar and it was formerly a smoking venue. Owner/operators Vanessa Harris and Ashley Searle of Followspot Productions are super excited about the new venture and grateful at the warm welcome extended by Brass Bell owner, Tony White of the Bell. This legendary foodie has literally provided a home for the theatre and has gone out of his way to facilitate the creation of a theatre by the sea. There will be some changes and innovations and as we emerge from lockdown regulations, there may be further developments.

Cabaret/lounge format

There will be no smoking in the theatre which will seat around 100-150. Seating will be cabaret/lounge style – bar stools, chairs and tables, couches. Seats are unreserved but as with the first KBT, preferential seating will be given to those who book a table to dine, before the show.

Theatre/food – how it works

In the first KBT, food and drink was run in-house, in the gallery at the venue. In the Kalk Bay Theatre at The Brass Bell, food and drink will be operated by The Brass Bell. Harris is chuffed with this arrangement which allows team Followspot to concentrate on the theatre side of the venture. The Bell is a legendary spot for it seafood and sundowners and it will be supplying and serving the food and beverages. The idea is to arrive from 5.30pm or 6pm, have a bite in the restaurant and then move into the theatre. Drinks may be brought into the theatre. There will be tables to put the drinks on. At this point, during lockdown, food will not be served in the theatre but that may change when regulations are eased. The idea is that people should keep their masks on, until they are seated, and any time that they are away from their seats. 

Theatre bar

There will be a bar in the theatre for convenient access to beverages. This means that you don’t have to scuttle into the restaurant to get a drink.

Interval- new addition

The format at the first KBT was generally no interval shows. With the new venue –a theatre – right on the sea – the vibe is more laid back. It is time to chill, walk outside, breath in the sea air. For the opening show, Man Band, the first half will be around 40 minutes; followed by a twenty minute interval and thirty minute second half. Curtain up is 8pm. The idea is to wrap up the show by 9.30pm.

Bookings – theatre and Brass Bell

When booking via Quicket, there will be two options – seats only or seats and dinner. When you select the latter – Show Ticket & Dinner Booking- a table will be reserved for you in the Brass Bell Restaurant and in the theatre, so you can pivot from your meal to the theatre. There is an ala carte menu. You eat and pay your restaurant bill and that is separate to the theatre tickets. Man Band tickets are R185 (includes Quicket service fee).

Programme at The Kalk Bay Theatre at The Brass Bell

Followspot will be staging its own shows, such as Man Band on Friday and Saturdays, with the occasional Thursday. Wednesday are comedy nights. Sunday evenings- will feature original artists/bands such as Arno Carstens. Monday and Tuesdays? It is early days – watch this space.

All up, it is all thrilling – the energetic Followspot team in residence at their new Kalk Bay Theatre. The theatre will be a producing and a receiving house – which is great for independent artists looking for a professional platform. The ethos of the KBT remains. It is theatre of experience. It is a place where front of house operators greet patrons by name and it is a theatre where the performers unwind afterwards with the audience. Inevitably Followspot shows provide the opportunity for the audience to dance – especially in the encore. This new venue will be very much tuned into that get up and boogie state of mind.

The Kalk Bay Theatre at The Brass Bell


Twitter: @kalkbay_theatre

Instagram: @kalkbaytheatre.