South Africa is home to some of the most innovative and dedicated theatre-makers in the world. Naturally, we’ve also got a superb selection of theatres.
From Johannesburg’s iconic Market Theatre to The Artscape in Cape Town, we’ve put together a brief directory of some of the top South African theatre venues that are worth paying a visit to in order to see some of your favourite productions, thespians, musicals, and more.
The Soweto Theatre
Soweto, home to a long and rich tradition of community theatre, is also home to the newest theatre to be managed by Johannesburg City Theatres (JCT). Situated in the vibrant cultural precinct of Jabulani, its now iconic complex was completed in May 2012 and is a legacy project of the FIFA 2010 World Cup. The Soweto Theatre operates in perfect harmony with the entrepreneurial spirit of street vendors, hustlers, and the organised big business of the Jabulani Mall. While the theatre and Jabulani Shopping Mall are contemporary additions to the budding cultural precinct, the Amphitheatre is legendary. Built in 1952, this was one of the few leisure facilities in Soweto during the apartheid years. It is a place of political significance and one of the few state structures which escaped being torched during the 1976 Student Uprising. From the 1960s, the Jabulani Amphitheatre was the venue for jazz festivals which were later consolidated into the Soweto National Jazz Festival in the 1970s.
Because of its close proximity to Inhlanzani Hostel, the amphitheatre became popular for hosting Maskandi as well as Isicathamiya traditional music in the eighties. Local bands such as The Beaters led by Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, Blondie Makhene, and gospel festivals featuring local icons such as Rebecca Malope and Lundi have played to full capacity at the venue.
The Jabulani amphitheatre has been recently upgraded and reopened in September 2017.
Address: Cnr. Bolani Rd and Bolani Link, Jabulani, Soweto (next to the Jabulani Mall)
Phone: +27 11 930 7461/2/3