7 Best Performing Arts Venues in Cape Town, South Africa

Baxter Theatre Complex


The Baxter Theatre Complex, part of the University of Cape Town, hosts a range of productions from serious drama to satirical comedies, as well as some rather experimental stuff. The complex includes a 666-seat theater, a concert hall, a smaller studio, and a restaurant and bar.

Cape Town International Jazz Festival

Cape Town Central

Music, especially jazz and African music, was an extremely potent instrument for social change during the oppressive apartheid regime. South Africans remain passionate about music, and they celebrate their love of jazz with the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, usually held in late March or early April. Started in 1999, this event is arguably the best weekend of the year in Cape Town. There's an even mix of local and international stars, and past festivals have included the likes of Randy Crawford; Abdullah Ibrahim; Hugh Masekela; Ismael Lo; Earth, Wind & Fire; and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

Fugard Theater

Cape Town Central

This theater is named after legendary and internationally renowned playwright Athol Fugard, who was at the heart of the protest theater movement in 1980s apartheid South Africa. Anything cutting edge and politically relevant arrives at the Fugard. The 320-seat theater itself sits on the edge of the historical and oh-so politically relevant District Six area.

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Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts


From late November to early April, enjoy the best in South African music, from African to classical to electronica, at outdoor concerts on Sundays at Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts. It's a Cape Town summer institution, not to be missed.



The Labia is a local gem - an independent art house and Cape Town institution that screens good-quality mainstream and alternative films. There are four screens at the Labia on Orange and two at the Labia on Kloof, just up the road. A small coffee bar serves snacks and wine at both venues.

Maynardville Open-Air Theatre


During the summer, when the weather's good, Cape Town has its own version of New York City's Central Park's Shakespeare in the Park at the excellent Maynardville Open-Air Theatre. Theatergoers often bring a picnic supper to enjoy before the show.

Theatre on the Bay

Camps Bay

The most current local and international productions are put on here. One of South Africa's best theaters, it was started and is still run by renowned local impresario Bobby Heaney. The location across the road from Camps Bay is great. Ruby Wax loved performing here so much that she bought a house down the road.