The present diverse cultural scene of Cape Town is dominated by the imposing Artscape Theatre Complex in the centre of town. Previously known as the "Nico Malan Theatre Centre". In the Apartheid era it used to be the centre of European art, but today is just as dedicated to African culture. Next to the "Opera House" with 1200 seats, there is the "Main Theatre" and the small stage for experimental and modern performances. The "Nico" gives grand opera performances of a very high standard.
Besides the two big theatres, there is a number of small stages. The Theatre on the Bay in Camps Bay is very popular. It shows good English Boulevard theatre.
The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra has performed in the concert hall of City Hall, at the Artscape Theatre and sometimes also at the Baxter. During the summer months, open-air concerts are regularly held in the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and in the amphitheatres of Spier and De Oude Libertas in Stellenbosch.
Cape Town is the Mecca of Jazz in South Africa. It largely owes this fame to the grand master Abdullah Ibrahim, who for a long time lived in exile in New York. There he became famous as Dollar Brand. He added his own lyrico-spiritual character to jazz music. Ibrahim and his musicians usually perform at the Baxter, in the City Hall and in Green Point's Off Broadway. One can listen to live jazz in many music pubs and clubs.
The famous Cape Town City Ballet, which evolved from the UCT School of Dance, gives performance in a number of different theatres, mostly at the Artscape and in the Baxter.
Performance updates and addresses for bookings as well as interesting links to be found on the INFO page.
Cape Town's second-biggest theatre, the Baxter, lies in the vicinity of the university in the suburb of Rondebosch. The complex houses a concert hall and the Concert Hall and the Main Theatre, each with about 600 seats. And it has the little Studio Theatre. The Baxter is more avantgarde and modern than the conventional "Nico".