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Cape Town’s annual Shakespeare under the stars has delighted audiences for 62 years but 2018 will take the theatre tradition into a new era with an expanded classical experience called the Maynardville Open-Air Festival.

Showcasing a season of symphony, Shakespeare, ballet, comedy and more, the Festival weaves elements of Shakespeare into a selection of shows from 18 January – 3 March 2018.

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.

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra will present the Symphonic Shakespeare concerts (18-20 January) followed by Cape Town City Ballet with Les Sylphides and The Firebird (24-28 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, but this time 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-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.

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.  Says producer Brian Heydenrych, “We are expanding the experience – and upscaling it in terms of quality and service.  We will not take away the patrons 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.”

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

The Maynardville Open Air Festival takes place at Maynardville Open Air Theatre in Maynardville Park, entrance on the corner of Piers and Wolfe Street, Wynberg, Cape Town.

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