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CCan you imagine watching a quality live show and becoming engrossed by the narrative being told, the songs being sung or the characters being exceptionally portrayed? Webbed in a lovely escape where you can’t help but forget your own worries and troubles (at least for a little while)? Living in another place or time for the length of a remarkable play or musical? Set inside a technically proficient and world-class entertainment centre? Without costing you an arm and a leg?
Well, the great news is that this could be your reality. Situated on top of the Braamfontein Hill, the Joburg Theatre offers all of this, and so much more.
It’s more than a theatre. It’s an immersive cultural experience. You can ask anyone who has been there to watch some of the hit shows that the Joburg Theatre has hosted, such as William Kentridge’s The Magic Flute, Chicago, The Color Purple, West Side Story, Woza Albert and a number of top-of-the-line global touring shows. Still need more convincing? Here are five reasons why a visit to this spectacular venue should be on your bucket list.
PPlenty of room… gorgeous room!
The Joburg Theatre houses four auditoriums under its roof namely, The Peoples, The Fringe, space.com and its flagship, The Mandela.
Named after South Africa’s anti-apartheid revolutionary and political leader, The Mandela is lined with plush red seating, which accommodates 1069 patrons. It has one of the most technically proficient stages in the Southern Hemisphere, and has hosted big productions such as Beatlemania, Footloose, Le Grand Cirque, Spirit of the Dance as well as the annual Janice Honeyman festive season pantomimes, which have become synonymous with this theatre.
SSpoilt rotten for choice
As South Africa’s premier home of live entertainment, the Joburg Theatre caters for everyone. Classic ballet, broadway musicals, comedy, tear-jerking dramas, pantomime productions, intimate single-handers, full ensemble productions – the list is endless. With so many options, you might have a tough time picking your favourite. And did we mention that every production boasts some of the best talent the world has to offer?
There's nothing quite like whirling away an evening at a beautiful restaurant with sweeping views of the city skyline before or after watching a live show. Luckily, the Joburg Theatre has its own catering and hospitality team resident in the building. There are six hospitality suites with sumptuous decor that are also available for hire for company workshops, board meetings, private lunches, seminars, award presentations, media conferences, etc.
There’s no "I" in theatre
While there’s nothing wrong with visiting the theatre alone, sharing this incredible experience with a group of friends, family or colleagues could leave you with special memories and have you paying much less. Most performances at the Joburg Theatre offer a 10% discount on group bookings. Yes, 10%. You can even bring the kids along to watch Keith Smith’s Peoples Theatre Company, which performs throughout the year to children between the ages of three and 13.
LLearn a thing or two
If you don’t have a chance to see a production, seeing the beautiful building and all it has to offer is a wonderful activity. The Joburg Theatre offers a backstage tour of one of South Africa’s most technically advanced stages. This is a great opportunity to learn more about theatre, like how they make stages open and close or the design and planning that goes into every production. Visit the Joburg Theatre and discover why there’s no business, like show business.
South African urban architectural design tours introduce visitors to the eclectic array of styles and influences behind the country’s most iconic buildings.
South African Breweries’ World of Beer in Newtown Cultural Precinct, Johannesburg, presents a fascinating history of beer globally, and brewing in South Africa – with some welcome samples thrown in.
Leafy Greenside in Johannesburg looks spectacular in spring and offers excellent restaurants and bars, great shopping and nearby outdoor attractions like golf, water sports and botanical gardens.
Wits Art Museum – part of the University of the Witwatersrand – houses an African art collection that was started in the 1920s and includes masks, photographs, paintings and more.
Sandton is Johannesburg’s financial capital, as well as boasting 5-star luxury hotels, world-class conference venues and premier shopping destinations, including Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square and the Marc.
Johannesburg might be something of an urban jungle, but it also has some wonderful natural attractions. The land on which Johannesburg is built was once grassland, but is now the biggest urban forest in the world, with over 10 million trees in its city, gardens, 600 parks, open spaces and suburbs.
There are many places to eat in Soweto from formal restaurants to more informal taverns and shebeens. There’s lots to experience in Soweto, so include a meal at one of the more popular restaurants as part of your tour itinerary.