It’s a theatrical birthday jol in Kalk Bay

It’s a theatrical birthday jol in Kalk Bay

The Kalk Bay Theatre, one of the most iconic playhouses in Cape Town, will be celebrating its tenth birthday from March 11 to 15 with a week of one-off performances from some of South Africa’s top artists.
The theatre was created by Simon and Helen Cooper and Nicholas and Liz Ellenbogen, who converted the 1876, heritage protected Dutch Reformed Church into an intimate 78 seat theatre and restaurant in 2004.

For the past decade the Theatre has presented a varied programme of entertainment across drama, comedy, dance and music. From the first production on March 12, 2004 – ‘Tales of an African Knight’, directed by Nicholas Ellenbogen – to shows such as the multiple-award winning ‘London Road’, which premiered on the Kalk Bay Theatre stage, the Theatre has created a unique dinner and theatre experience where guests can linger after the show and meet the performers in a relaxed environment.

PETER TROMP chatted to SIMON COOPER about some of the birthday festivities theatergoers can look forward to.

Tell us a little about the celebrations you guys have lined up.
Each night of the week will feature some of the artists who have been part of Kalk Bay Theatre’s journey. On March 11, long-standing Tuesday night resident, TheatreSports will perform an extra special show with theatre luminaries Nicholas and Liz Ellenbogen set to take the stage.
Wednesday night brings a top secret, surprise artist, while Thursday will be a celebration of dance that will sweep you off your feet. Multiple award-winning Follow Spot Productions – who have also brought their dazzling energy to the revamped Kalk Bay Theatre Kitchen and Bar – are on the bill, with Theatre co-founder Helen Cooper and friends. Talented actor and dancer Luke Brown will present excerpts with Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi and Stefan Erasmus in a sneak preview of the forthcoming ‘Undermined’, directed by Tara Notcutt.

Friday night’s line up includes the eternally popular Gaëtan Schmid, whose quirky style has delighted audiences at Kalk Bay Theatre where he has performed many of his one-man shows such as ‘The Belgian’, ‘Body Language’, ‘Rumpsteak’, ‘The Dog’s Bollocks’ and ‘The Incredible Beer Show’.

On Saturday night there will be a grand finale of Rob van Vuuren and James Cairns, who have both performed in numerous shows at the Theatre, and appeared together in ‘Brother Number’. Audiences will know James from his shows ‘Rat’, ‘Sitting Man’, ‘Dirt’ and ‘Sie Weiss Alles’, while Rob has presented ‘Electric Juju’ and Rob van Vuuren is Rob van Vuuren.

Ten years is a long time for a small theatre to stay in business during some pretty trying economic times. How do you feel about the milestone?
Humbled and excited. And grateful to the people who have supported us.

Why did you decide to enter the local theatre market place in 2004?
Because we felt strongly that there were not enough venues that offered space to what one might describe as fringe shows, and more particularly dramas as opposed to stand-up and musical theatre.

* Special birthday show and dinner packages will be available for the upcoming week. Tickets cost R175 and includes dinner, show, wine and birthday cake.
For more information and bookings, visit