Did you know?
Maynardville is named after financier James Maynard, who had a house in the park from 1836.
Maynardville, situated in the Wynberg suburb of Cape Town, is a park with a beautiful expanse of rolling lawns, dotted with trees and a large water feature popular with birds. But it's best known for its open-air theatre.
Each summer since 1956, this outdoor theatre has hosted a production of a Shakespearean play. The tradition was started by actresses Cecelia Sonnenberg and Rene Ahrenson who persuaded the City of Cape Town to create an outdoor stage and auditorium. Their first production was The Taming of the Shrew.
The area where the plays are staged is surrounded by trees, making for a magical setting best suited to some of Shakespeare's comedies, like Midsummer Night's Dream.
Seasoned theatre-goers will pack a picnic and share supper on the lawns before attending the performance. (Be warned, though, as the evening progresses it can get chilly so take a warm blanket with you.)
The park is located on an old farm which fell into the hands of Cape Town businessman, James Mortimer Maynard, in 1836. His house was named Maynard's Villa, from whence the name, but sadly the dilapidated homestead was demolished in 1954 shortly after the City of Cape Town took ownership of the land.
Maynardville is now managed as a partnership between the City of Cape Town government and the Wynberg community. The park hosts a variety of events, from weddings to markets and fundraisers, while it is also an all-year picnic destination.
While you are touring the area, drive around the neighbouring Wynberg Village, which has been proclaimed an urban conservation for its historical architecture and village atmosphere.