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Maynardville Open-Air Festival
All you need to know, from programme to picnic & parking
Last updated: 16 January 2024
Cape Town’s enchanting open-air festival is on again as per tradition. From classical music, orchestras and choirs to Shakespeare in the Park, this annual event has been a summer tradition since the 1950s. This year it kicks off with some new experiences and showcases a timeless love story. Here’s everything you need to know about Maynardville Open-Air Festival 2024.
Cape Town’s open-air theatre experience. Image: Maynardville Open-Air Festival
MAYNARDVILLE OPEN-AIR FESTIVAL
Maynardville Park in Wynberg first transformed into an open-air theatre for an annual Shakespeare festival in 1956. For over 60 years, the Maynardville Open-Air Festival has become Cape Town’s premier open-air theatre experience, where nature and art intertwine into an enchanting evening of music and drama in a 700-seater theatre.
It’s not just Shakespeare in the Park. There’s also a family of choirs, orchestras and tribute shows this year at Maynardville, which yearly draws loyal locals, including a man who’s been bringing his wife for over 40 years. It’s also where parents take their kids and kids take their parents.
Maynardville Park’s annual festival has captivated audiences for decades. Image: Maynardville Open-Air Festival
SPECIAL TRIBUTE SHOWS
Kicking off the season on 18 January 2024 is “Rachmaninoff Rendezvous”, where audiences will be captivated by compositions and haunting melodies from the Russian composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff.
A special Sunday night show will celebrate the works of Italian composer Giacomo Puccini with “Puccini in the Park”. This event, marking the 100th anniversary of Puccini’s death, will be performed by the Cape Town Opera.
Another highlight is “A Night at the Musicals”, featuring lyrical masterpieces from hit musicals like West Side Story.
The classical programme showcases some of the oldest arts institutions in the Southern Hemisphere. Image: Maynardville Open-Air Festival
ROMEO AND JULIET (AND OTHER SURPRISES)
The Shakespearean piece of the year is the timeless Romeo and Juliet, a wonderfully romantic addition to Valentine’s month. The classic love story will be performed throughout the festival from 25 January to 24 February, with local talents you might recognise from shows like Arendsvlei or Spinners.
Before Romeo and Juliet’s run, is three nights of musical storytelling through narration with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. The orchestra will be performing works evoking the essence of Romeo and Juliet and themes of unrequited love.
The season closes on 25 February with “Friends in Harmony”, Maynardville’s inaugural celebration of choir music featuring the Tygerberg Choir and the South African Youth Choir.
Extraordinary live performances from theatre to opera and orchestras. Image: Maynardville Open-Air Festival
PICNIC AND FOOD TRUCKS IN THE PARK
Another tradition that continues this year is the picnic in the park before the shows begin. Patrons now have the option to buy dinner under the magical lights from one of the on-site gourmet food trucks.
The Maynardville Evening Food Market offers a variety of cuisines and food options, from cheeseboard and wine pairings, pizzas or poke bowls to Mexican and more (there are halaal and vegetarian options available too).
Plus, two full bars selling wine, beer and spirits, as well as a coffee bar pop-up. The park gates open at 5pm, so theatre-goers can enjoy some food and drinks before the show starts.
The food market adds vibrancy, enchantment, and delight to the festival’s experience. Image: Maynardville Open-Air Festival
MAYNARDVILLE FESTIVAL TICKETS
Prices range from R190 and R320. Pensioners and students get 15% off all shows, plus there’s a great family of four discount of R260.
Dates and time
Thursday, 18 January; 7.30pm - 9pm
Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra
Friday 19 - Sunday 21 January; 8.15pm - 9.45pm
William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Thursday 25 Jan to Saturday 24 February; 8.15pm - 10pm
An evening with Cape Town Opera
Sunday, 4 February; 6pm - 7.30pm
A Night at the Musicals
Sunday, 11 February; 6pm - 7.30pm
Friends in Harmony: A Choral Celebration
Sunday, 25 February; 6pm - 7.30pm
Tickets are available on Quicket. Image: Jeanine Bresler
BEST PLACE TO PARK
Maynardville Park is easily accessible via the front gates on the corner of Church and Wolfe Street, with parking options: See the Google Maps location of the Wynberg Public Library on Glaren Road.
Note: Get there early to secure a good parking spot.
Bring something warm for the evening shows. Image: Jeanine Bresler
VISIT MAYNARDVILLE OPEN-AIR FESTIVAL
Maynardville Open-Air Festival is on: 18 January to 25 February 2024
Find it: 27 Piers Road, Wynberg
Cost: From R161
Book: via Quicket
Contact on: 082 773 5397, email@example.com, @maynardville
By Lara van Zyl
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