Johannesburg theatres will leave the culture vulture spoilt for choice. From Soweto to Sandton, there’s something for everyone. Consult your local newspaper for listings, pick one and try not to be distracted by the wealth of choice! Then, let the curtain rise, the lights dim, suspend your belief, and let the show begin...

Did you know?

Soweto's first theatre, the striking Soweto Theatre, showcases new and emerging local talent

There's something for everyone in Johannesburg theatres, everything from Broadway shows to Shakespearean dramas to heartfelt local stories. There are also excellent student productions, award-winning international musicals, dramas, comedies, children's productions, and even experimental fare.

All are staged in Johannesburg's profusion of theatres and if you're a theatre aficionado you'll find a quick fix. Consult the daily newspapers for what's on. Most tickets can be booked at the theatre itself or through national ticket tout, Computicket.

The Market Theatre complex in Newtown Cultural Precinct is a hive of arts and entertainment. It has played host to some of the country's most famous plays, including many from South Africa's most acclaimed playwright, Athol Fugard.

Joburg's leading theatre, the Johannesburg Theatre Complex, which includes the spacious Mandela Theatre, showcases local and overseas productions and is usually booked a year in advance with these productions. For dedicated children's shows and pantomimes which are lively, colourful, interactive and timed for brevity, head over to the National Children's Theatre.

Gold Reef City's Globe Theatre made its reputation with Richard Loring's African Footprint, an exuberant celebration of popular South African music and culture. Similarly, another Johannesburg theatre, the Victory Theatre, made its name when it staged Umoja.

The two theatres at the stylish entertainment complex Montecasino, north of the city − one big, one small − produce intimate shows plus Broadway blockbusters.

For more experimental performance, and great value-for-money shows, be sure to check out the Wits Downstairs Theatre, and the University of Johannesburg Art Centre, where drama students practice their chosen trade with zeal.

Theatres in Johannesburg span the entire metropolis, from north, to south, east to west, township to suburb − you're bound to find something to tempt your theatre tastebuds.

Travel tips & Planning info

How to get here

Johannesburg's theatres are mostly city- or town-based and therefore easily accessible by road.

Best time to visit

Theatre is an entertainment mainstay all year long, but do check the local press for visiting shows or shows with great reviews.

Tours to do

Any reputable tour company will be able to advise on 'must-see' theatre shows in all the country's main cities.

Get around

Most taxi cabs will be able to collect you and drop you at the theatre door. Try Rose's Taxi Cabs, the country's longest standing cab company.

What will it cost

Cost of shows differ from theatre complex to theatre complex, and sometimes are even free! Consult each theatre's website, or check with national ticket agency Computicket.

Length of stay

Bank on an evening, and throw in a dinner and post-show cappucino too.

What to pack

A shawl, or jumper to cover your shoulders during showtime.

What to eat

The established Johannesburg theatres have excellent restaurants on site or within walking distance. At the Barnyard chain, you can even bring your own pre-packed picnic basket.

What's happening

Check the local press for visiting shows, or shows with great reviews.

Best buys

Look out for the student productions at the acclaimed University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, these are often free to the public.

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