Discover The Cape

July 2005 Newsletter

Cape Town Accommodation, Tours & Travel

Become a Culture Vulture - Here's How

It was a dark and cold evening the other night (it was probably about 6pm - but we're still in the middle of our Cape Town winter) I had been blindsided into going to watch a primary school production. A friend of Mrs Caped Discoverer has a charming little kid who likes to sing and dance, and this was his opening night.

The Baxter Theatre

So anyway, seeing as I didn't have anything better to do, I tagged along to see a remake of "Grease", which was cunningly renamed "Vaseline" to avoid any copyright infringement, as well as any sort of licensing fee I suspect. So there I was, listening to the fat kid belt out a horrendous version of "Grease Lightning" while his doting parents looked on proudly. I gently jabbed the mother in the ribs, which won me a dirty look but at least I succeeded in getting her attention. "This is without a doubt the worst stage production I have ever seen," I said matter-of-factly, as it was indeed the worst stage production I had ever seen. This of course meant another dirty look as well as receiving my very own not so gentle jab in the ribs. To back up my claim however, I proceeded to invite the whole family to the Baxter theatre, a bit of a Cape Town landmark, and a place where they would no doubt see a better production than the one we were currently witnessing.

About The Baxter

The Baxter Theatre is found at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and seems to have been around for a lifetime...if you were born before 1977, because that is actually when it opened. Since then they have shown a wide and diverse range of productions, from live music shows, drama, ballet, opera as well as intimate theatre, which is similar to normal theatre, just in a more intimate setting. For those of you who may not know this, the Baxter theatre consists of three sections:

The Main Theatre - Which has 666 seats and is used for large-scale productions and popular acts.

The Concert Hall - This one can hold 638 people and comes equipped with an organ. (I don't think I've ever been in this theatre actually).

The Sanlam Studio Centre - An intimate, 172 seater for new acts, smallish acts or for shows which the organisers feel will probably be a little less polished.

A Conference Centre With a Difference

I didn't know this, but apparently the Baxter can be used for conferences as well, and is available right through the year. I had not been to the Baxter for several years, and was presently surprised to see the range of shows on offer. They basically cater for all types and personalities. Currently they have a poetry festival, live dancing, African jazz, stand-up comedy, children's entertainment as well as serious theatre. So whether you're an annoying little kid or a boring old wrinkly you're sure to find something to grab your fancy. I was pleasantly surprised to find a restaurant and bar situated inside as well, a fairly new development I think, unless I was too young to remember the bar on my childhood visits.

Book Early

Be warned, the Baxter is normally quite full, and you'll very seldom be able to just rock up on a given night and expect to get tickets. Booking is essential, be it by telephone or through Computicket.

I ended up having to use my considerable clout to get tickets at such short notice, but the end result was well worth it. We all felt like a laugh, and seeing that no one really found any of my jokes funny on the way through - which I found deeply troubling if truth be told - we settled on a local Cape Town production called "Joe Barber 3", which interestingly enough, revolved around a Cape Town barber called Joe. We all enjoyed the show and afterwards, I apologised to little Jakey for the earlier disparaging comments I made about his singing. He forgave me, as did his mother and father, as well as Mrs Caped Discoverer, and everyone went home happy and content. So it just goes to show, the Baxter Theatre not only entertains for those short few hours, it's also a good place to mend broken fences.

Until next month then.

Signing off.
The Caped Discoverer


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Baxter Theatre

Baxter Theatre


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