June 15, 2011
Coffeebeans Routes Theatre Tour at the Baxter Theatre Centre
The Baxter Theatre. Photo courtesy Skye Grove
Local tour operator Coffeebeans Routes takes “dinner and a show” to new heights with their recently launched Theatre Tour. The setting for this unique experience is the Baxter Theatre Centre at the University of Cape Town, renowned as a vibrant cultural centre with a good relationship with the local and university communities.
The vision of the Baxter has been to reflect the cultures of all the people of South Africa on stage and in its foyers and galleries, says Fahiem Stellenboom, marketing manager, who takes us on a backstage tour after a welcome drink in the newly refurbished lounge. As we walk down the corridors, the black and white photographs tell the story of a venue which kept its doors open to everyone, even through the difficult years of racial segregation in South Africa.
We then have the opportunity to stand on the stage of one of the main theatres – in equal parts thrilling and terrifying even without an audience. We bump into performers ranging from puppeteers for the production of Ouroboros, which we are about to see, performers from an “integrated dance” sequence who perform despite being disabled (two dancers are in wheelchairs and one performer is deaf) and earnest scholars from across the metropole getting ready to compete in a steel drum competition. We see the new 200-seater theatre called Flipside, due to its unusual setup, learn about acoustics in the main venues and the stars that have graced the theatre’s many stages.
We then enjoy a Taste of the Cape dinner with regional specialities like bobotie, Cape Malay curry, poppadoms, yellow rice and malva pudding, put together especially for the Theatre Tour with the objective of giving locals and visitors an authentic cultural experience. The play, Ouroboros, exceeds all of our expectations as an incredibly moving story brought to life by the puppets and puppeteers that we saw backstage moments ago.
The evening is rounded off with drinks at the Play Bar and the opportunity to meet the cast. An amazing experience, it left us inspired by the creativity that lives at the Baxter.
Upcoming Theatre Tours at the Baxter with Coffeebeans Routes:
- Brother Love with local brothers Loukmaan and Emo Adams – June 2011
- Ariel Dorfman’s Purgatoria featuring Dawid Minnaar and Terry Norton – July 2011
- Desperate First Ladies by Pieter Dirk Uys – September 2011
- David Kramer’s new production Some like it Vrot – October and November 2011
Cost: R750 per person including dinner, theatre tickets, tour and return transfers from your hotel