Entertainment in Southern Africa

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in West Coast & Swartland

    Evita se Perron

    This uniquely South African cabaret, featuring Pieter-Dirk Uys as his alter ego Evita Bezuidenhout, touches on everything from South African politics to history and ecology. Nothing is off limits – including the country’s racially charged past. Although the shows include a smattering of Afrikaans, they’re largely in English and always hilarious and thought-provoking. Buffet meals are available for those attending a show. Even if you're not seeing a show, a visit to the complex is well worth it. There's a politically themed sculpture garden and some fascinating apartheid memorabilia on show. The splendidly kitsch restaurant serves traditional Afrikaner food. Uys also set up the Darling Trust (www.thedarlingtrust.org) to assist Swartland communities to empower themselves through participation in education and health programs. The A en C Shop at the complex stocks beading, clothes, wire-art and paintings.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Cape Town

    Alexander Bar & Café

    Playwright Nicholas Spagnoletti and software engineer Edward van Kuik are the driving duo behind this fun, eccentric space in a gorgeous heritage building. Downstairs is a very popular LGBT-friendly bar, while upstairs is a studio theatre with a packed programme of plays, musical performances and other speaking events. In the bar, use antique telephones on the tables to chat with fellow patrons and to place your order. Their regular Wednesday night quizzes are a hoot and a great way to meet locals.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Cape Town

    Baxter Theatre Centre

    Since the 1970s the Baxter has been the focus of Capetonian theatre. There are three main venues at the centre – a 674-seat theatre, a concert hall and a studio – and between them they cover everything from comedy and kids’ shows to classical music and African dance spectaculars. The Baxter has an ongoing relationship with the Royal Shakespeare Company thanks to Capetonian Sir Antony Sher, who has performed here.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in eSwatini (Swaziland)

    House on Fire

    People visit this place especially for the ever-mutating cultural site/living gallery and experimental-performance space. Part of the Malandela's complex, the well-known venue hosts everything from African theatre, music and films to raves and other forms of entertainment. Since 2007, it has hosted the annual MTN Bushfire Festival.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Cape Town

    Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts

    Don't miss taking a picnic and some bubbly to one of these wonderful outdoor concerts, staged in the stunning botanical gardens beneath Table Mountain on Sundays from November to April. Some of the biggest names in South African music perform here.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Gauteng

    Soweto Theatre

    This R150-million complex is a vividly colourful and creative symbol of contemporary Soweto. Even if you don't come for a show or event, do drop by to admire the building and its fun interior artworks. Call ahead to book a free tour. On the first Saturday of the month an arts and crafts market is held here, while on the last Sunday of the month drop by for the food market; both run noon until 7pm. The last Thursday of the month is poetry and comedy night (R30) – check the website for full details of shows.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Cape Town

    Café Roux

    The City Bowl has been crying out for a quality live-music venue for a while and it's taken Café Roux (which already runs a successful operation in Noordhoek) to provide it. Most nights a different singer or band plays here, and with tiered seating (and all seats bookable online) you're guaranteed to get a good view. Come early if you also wish to eat here before the start of the show – usually around 8.30pm.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Cape Town

    Isivivana Centre

    Decorated with giant art murals by Breeze Yoko and Falko One, this new cultural and community centre is worthy of a look in its own right. However you'll also find here the Bertha Movie House, screening Africa-themed and family movies for free, and the pleasantly decorated Isivivana Cafe that acts as a canteen for the NGOs and charities based here.

  • Top ChoiceEntertainment in Sea Point to Hout Bay

    Theatre on the Bay

    A great venue for an evening of lighthearted theatrical entertainment, offering everything from comic plays to classic musicals. Should you want to eat before curtain, there's the chic Sidedish Theatre Bistro (http://dishfood.co.za/side-dish) on-site.

  • Entertainment in Cape Town

    Fugard Theatre

    Named in honour of Athol Fugard, South Africa’s best-known living playwright, this very impressive arts centre was created from the former Congregational Church Hall. There are two stages, the largest theatre also doubling up as a ‘bioscope’ – a fancy word for a digital cinema where top international dance and opera performances are screened.

  • Entertainment in Cape Town

    Cape Philharmonic Orchestra

    The grand auditorium to the rear of the old City Hall has very good acoustics that are taken advantage of by this orchestra and accompanying local choirs. Entrance is on Corporation St. Concerts happen throughout the year: check online for the schedule. The CPO has been working hard to ensure its musicians reflect the ethnic breakdown of the Western Cape more closely. To this end it has formed the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Cape Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble, with around 80% of members coming from disadvantaged communities.

  • Entertainment in Cape Town

    Newlands Cricket Ground

    Newlands would be a shoo-in for the title of the world’s prettiest cricket ground – if it weren’t for a nearby mega-brewery messing up the view towards the back of Table Mountain. With room for 25,000, the ground is used for all international matches. Tickets cost around R60 for local matches and up to R250 for internationals. Grab a spot on the grass to soak up the festive atmosphere. Local team the Cape Cobras (www.capecobras.co.za) play here during the season, which runs from September to March.

  • Entertainment in Cape Town

    Galileo Open-Air Cinema

    Most Wednesday evenings from November to April, you can watch a movie outdoors in Kirstenbosch gardens (entry is from 6pm; movies start between 7.30pm and 8.30pm, depending on sunset time). Check the website for what's showing, and note that screenings will only be cancelled in extreme weather and that you cannot bring your own backrest or chair.

  • Entertainment in Johannesburg

    Ellis Park – Emirates Airline Park

    The spiritual home of Jo’burg rugby, just east of the city centre, was the scene of one of the new nation’s proudest moments – victory in the 1995 World Cup. Local supporters are fanatical: a Saturday afternoon at the rugby can be an almost religious experience. Renamed Emirates Airline Park in January 2015, it's still widely known as Ellis Park.

  • Entertainment in Durban

    Chairman

    This classy lounge-bar is in an up-and-coming part of Durban, but for now it's best to grab a cab to get here. This sprawling bar and lounge has a maximalist design with antiques, game trophies and strange paintings covering the walls. There are jazz performances, but it's well worth going just to taste one of the excellent cocktails.

  • Entertainment in Cape Town

    Labia

    A Capetonian treasure and lifeline to the independent movie fan, the four-screen Labia is named after the old Italian ambassador and local philanthropist Count Labia. Their African Screen program is one of the rare opportunities you’ll have to see locally made films; check the website for session times.

  • Entertainment in Johannesburg

    Katzy's

    This swanky den recalls the atmosphere of an old NYC jazz club. You’ll find mellow, live jazz Tuesday to Saturday evenings from around 8.30pm. It also boasts an exceptional menu of whiskies, cognacs and bourbons. Food is provided by Grillhouse next door.

  • Entertainment in Simon's Town & Southern Peninsula

    Kalk Bay Theatre

    One of the city’s intimate dinner-and-a-show venues, this theatre is housed in an atmospheric converted church. You don’t need to eat here to see the productions, which are fun showcases of local talent and often reasonably short, and after a performance you can join the cast at the upstairs bar.

  • Entertainment in Simon's Town & Southern Peninsula

    Masque Theatre

    The program at this small theatre (seating 171) changes on a pretty regular basis, veering from stand-up comedy and live music to musical revues and more serious plays.

  • Entertainment in Maputo

    National Company of Song and Dance

    The National Company of Song & Dance, Mozambique’s renowned national dance company, has occasional performances in Maputo that are well worth attending.