The Pretoria State Theatre
Did you know?
Designed by architects Hans and Roelf Botha, the State Theatre in Pretoria was once the largest reception venue of performing arts in the southern hemisphere.
Surrounded by high-rises and the capital’s hustle and bustle, South Africa’s State Theatre in Pretoria is not just devoted to the promotion of the performing arts, but is itself a major drawcard for tourists, thanks to its architectural splendour.
Occupying an entire block in the city centre, the State, as it’s commonly known, consists of 5 theatres, a large public square embracing pedestrian patronage, restaurants and a coffee shop.
More importantly, since staging its first show in 1981, the State Theatre in Pretoria has featured a wide range of productions including opera, ballet, musicals, drama, cabaret and children’s theatre.
In 2006, the South African State Theatre affirmed its position as the premier venue for large-scale productions when its production of Swan Lake by the St Petersburg Ballet Theatre drew packed houses. As one of the principal receiving houses for ballet performances on the sub-continent, opening night of Swan Lake at the State played out like a who’s who of people from powerful sectors of sub-Saharan society.
But it’s not the only headline-making show that the State Theatre has catered for. Many curtains have been lifted here on world-class productions including Cats, Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music, and South Africa’s own Sarafina!, a musical tour de force by impresario Mbongeni Ngema.
Situated in a city known for its spacious performing arts venues, the State Theatre is unrivalled not only by any other dance theatre in Pretoria or any other city in Africa, but can hold its own against the best that the biggest has to offer, including the Sydney Opera House. Its many spacious theatres, nooks, crannies and maze of connecting corridors offer audiences much more than a night of performing art. A dramatic edifice in itself, going to the State Theatre in Pretoria is an experience that stays with people long after the show’s curtain has come down.
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Who to contact
The South African State Theatre is situated in the heart of Pretoria's CBD, in the block formed by Church, Prinsloo, van der Walt and Pretorius Streets.
320 Pretorius Street.
Tel: +27 (0) 11 340 8000