Maynardville Open-Air Festival expands

From 18 January to 3 March 2018, Cape Town’s annual Maynardville Open-Air Festival will showcase a season of symphony, ballet, comedy and more weaving elements of Shakespeare into a selection of shows.
The Maynardville Theatre Trust has partnered with Liquid Match productions, and is supported by Artscape, to bring the new festival to life and sees well-known companies and producers contributing work to the line-up.

Symphony, ballet and comedy

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra will present the Symphonic Shakespeare concerts between 18 and 20 January, followed by Cape Town City Ballet with Les Sylphides and The Firebird between 24 and 28 January. The Cape Town Comedy Club will present Jesters in the Park (with a nod to the Bard); a high-profile stand-up comedy lineup hosted by Rob van Vuuren from 31 January till the 3 February.

The Shakespeare for 2018 is The Taming of the Shrew; a fitting return to the first ever Shakespeare presented at Maynardville, this time, however, it is reinvented and re-energised by Tara Notcutt, and produced by Siv Ngesi and The Pink Couch. Notcutt’s all-female cast and pop treatment of the comedy is bound to shake up the stage between 7 February and 3 March.

Maynardville Open-Air Theatre is a firm favourite with schools, and is for many students, a primary exposure to theatre. This year is no different as the festival will work closely with schools to bring groups of youths into the space for a special night under the stars.

Traditional picnic experience

It’s not just about the vibrant programme, though. For many, a part of the tradition is taking a picnic to the park before watching the show. This year the festival celebrates its patrons enjoying the picnic space by creating a buzz in the food options. “We are expanding the experience – and upscaling it in terms of quality and service. We will not take away the patron’s ability to bring their own picnic – this is often a highlight for them – but we also want audiences to be able to be able to enjoy a prepared offering on site,” says Brian Heydenrych, producer.

Tickets range from R140-R210 (for an early bird ticket bought by 31 December) to R150-R220 for a normal ticket purchase. There are various concessions for students, groups and pensioners and a special season ticket for four opening nights can be purchased for R700 (a saving of R180).

Booking has now opened on Computicket and Artscape-dial-a-seat 021 421 7695

For more information follow the Maynardville Open Air Festival on Facebook.