Live entertainment

With its diversity of cultural influences and bursting with creative energy and talent, Cape Town has a thriving live arts and entertainment scene, and what better way to round off your day time tours and activities than with an evening at a local jazz club or theatre show? Several venues combine a show and meal.

MAIN THEATRE & LIVE MUSIC VENUES:

  • Artscape Theatre on the Foreshore in central Cape Town: One of the city's two largest theatre complexes with multiple venues including a 1 500 seater opera house.
    D.F. Malan Street, 021 - 410 9838, http://www.artscape.co.za/show
  • Fugard Theatre in central Cape Town: Located in the historic Sacks Futeran building on the edge of District Six, with the renovated Congregational Church Hall in Caledon Street as its entrance, the Fugard is named in honour of Athol Fugard, South Africa's greatest playwright and a living South African icon. As such, it carries a remarkable status both locally and abroad. Arrive early to enjoy a hearty meal in the Dias Tavern, a traditional Portuguese taverna, next door!
    Caledon Street, 021 - 461 4554, http://www.thefugard.com

  • Alexander Upstairs at the Alexander Bar in central Cape Town: This intimate upstairs theatre stages small but excellent local productions. Arrive early to enjoy a drink or light meal in the delightfully quirky, friendly bar / cafe co-owned by playwrite Nicholas Spagnoletti, and you might meet some of the friendly locals! (Also listed under City Walkabout)
    Corner of Strand & Loop Streets, 021 - 300 1088, 
    https://alexanderbar.co.za/shows-upstairs/current-and-forthcoming-shows

  • Kaapse (Cape) Stories from the Mother City at the Rockwell Dinner Theatre in the Rockwell Hotel, Green Point: Dinner and musical show telling the stories of Cape Town and her people. The show will transport you into the vibrant world of District Six through the adventures of the Kleintjies family, giving you an inspiring insight into the "rainbow nation" of Cape Town. A four course meal is served, featuring some delicious Cape favourites.
    Shows every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday, and most other nights subject to demand.
    32 Prestwich Street, Green Point, 021 - 418 2441 / 076 - 144 4809 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  ,
    https://www.rockwelldinnertheatre.co.za

  • Theatre on the Bay in Camp’s Bay: Owned by one of South Africa's foremost theatre personalities, Pieter Toerien.
    1a Link Street, Camp's Bay, 021 - 438 3301, 
    http://www.pietertoerien.co.za

  • Baxter Theatre in Rondebosch: The other of the two largest theatre complexes, on the campus of the University of Cape Town, with multiple venues including a 640 seater concert hall.
    Main Road, Rondebosch021 - 685 7880, 
    http://www.baxter.co.za

CLASSICAL:

  • Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra: Founded in 1914, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is arguably the most versatile and active orchestra on the continent of Africa, contributing handsomely to Cape Town’s global status and appeal. A multi-functional orchestra, the CPO delivers a world-class orchestra service to all communities in the region, participating in festivals and concerts across all genres of music. Most concerts are held in the beautiful, historic Cape Town City Hall.
    021 - 410 9809, https://www.cpo.org.za

MORE INFORMAL MUSICAL GIGS:

Events all over the city are often advertised close to the time in social media and through word of mouth, playing at venues such as:

  • Cafe Roux Sessions in central Cape Town: Showcases some of our country’s biggest, as well as new up-and-coming bands, musicians and comedians in an intimate setting. They've already hosted the likes of Dan Patlansky, aKing, Arno Carstens, Jesse Clegg, Chris Chameleon, Kahn Morbee, Jack Parow, Ard Matthews, Toya Delazy, Gangs of Ballet, Barry Hilton, Watershed, Matthew Mole, Nik Rabinowitz, Prime Circle, Just Jinger and many more. Open Tues to Sat 12 noon onwards for lunch & dinner, kitchen closes at 9 pm.
    74 Shortmarket Street (between Loop & Long Streets), 061 - 339 4438, http://caferouxsessions.co.za/cape-town-live-music

  • The Vic Bar & Grill on bustling Kloof Street: Gastro pub & live music venue with a cosy lounge space on the side. Up-and-coming bands & musicians play from Wednesday to Sunday.
    84 Kloof Street, 021 - 811 0292, 
    https://www.facebook.com/theviconkloofhttps://www.facebook.com/theviconkloof

  • The Alma Cafe in Rosebank: Cosy local neighbourhood venue owned by Jono Tait, talented singer songwriter and frontman for one of Cape Town's finest folk rock bands, Hatchetman. Featuring top local accoustic folk, jazz, blues, rock, etc. The very reasonable fee includes a meal before the show starts.
    20 Alma Road, Rosebank, call 021 - 685 7377 to book, http://almacafe.co.za , https://www.facebook.com/The-Alma-Cafe-159089414146612

JAZZ:

For an excellent roundup of what's on where in Cape Town, check out this website kept up to date by legendary local saxophonist Mike Laatz:

http://capetownjazz.com (redirects to http://mikelaatzgigguide.blogspot.co.za )

Regular jazz venues & gigs:

  • The Crypt jazz bar & restaurant in the crypt at St George’s Cathedral. An authentic experience of the best jazz, popular with local jazz fans, in the gothic basement of the Cathedral, rich in atmosphere. Tuesdays to Saturdays.
    Corner of Adderley & Wale Streets, Text or What’s App 079 – 683 4658 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  , http://www.thecryptjazz.com

  • The Piano Bar: A trendy New York-inspired music revue bar and eatery with a wraparound terrace and views through De Waterkant village towards the mountains and the bay. Live shows every night from 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Open Mon to Sat 12:30 pm to late, Sun 12:30 pm to 11 pm.
    Corner of Napier & Jarvis Streets, De Waterkant, 021 – 418 1096 / 079 – 028 4628, http://thepianobar.co.za

  • Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Mansions: A Cape Town institution! In the courtyard of the Winchester Mansions Hotel in Sea Point, on Sundays from 11 am to 2 pm. Includes a brunch feast, a glass of bubbly on arrival, and the Sunday paper.
    221 Beach Rd, Sea Point, 021 - 434 2351, http://www.winchester.co.za/hotel_cape_town_kapstadt_jazz.aspx

  • Kloof Street House: Restaurant in a large Victorian house with a collection of rooms and spaces bursting with character (also listed under Restaurants): Sunday lunch from 1 pm.
    30 Kloof Street, Gardens, 021 - 423 4413, http://www.kloofstreethouse.co.za/sunday-lunch-jazz

  • Asoka: Sexy cocktail bar, lounge & restaurant (also listed under Restaurants): Tuesdays from 8pm.
    68 Kloof Street, Gardens, 021 – 422 0909, 
    http://asoka.za.com/example1

  • East City Jazz & Tapas Thursdays at Harringtons Cocktail Lounge (used to be The Assembly): The latest new hot arrival on the scene in Harrington Street, central Cape Town:
    61 Harrington Street, 021 - 461 2276, https://www.facebook.com/harringtonsct

COMEDY:

  • Cape Town Comedy Club: Side-splitting stand-up comedy in the heart of the V&A Waterfront. Brilliant comedy is a long standing Cape Town tradition in which no holy cow ever gets out alive, and many of the country's most talented comedians are from here. Political satire helps disarm the ridiculous state of politics in this crazy land, and in the meantime we have become very good at laughing at ourselves ...
    The Pumphouse, 6 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, 021 - 418 8880, http://capetowncomedy.com/whats-on

CABARET:

  • Gate 69: South Africa’s premier cabaret theatre featuring fabulous, talented and high-powered local drag diva Cathy Specific, with shows on from Wednesday to Sunday nights. A mezze dinner is served and a bar is available.
    Corner of Bree & Hout Streets, 021 - 035 1627 / 071 - 589 2915, http://gate69.co.za

OTHER:

  • Youngblood Gallery: The Youngblood Arts & Culture Development, based in the Beautifull Life Building, hosts a really interesting mix of live musical and cultural events, often pushing the boundaries of creativity. They include music, theatre and dance, and regular dance classes.
    70-72 Bree Street, 021 - 424 0074, http://youngblood-africa.com