Maynardville Open Air Theatre Festival hits pause
One of Cape Town’s much-loved summer institutions has been forced to suspend its 2020 season due to a funding shortfall and the increased risk in the current economic climate. The Maynardville Open-Air Theatre Festival evolved from the annual Shakespeare play at Maynardville and has come to include comedy, dance and symphony as part of a three-month line-up of classical entertainment in the unique park setting in Wynberg.
Producer Brian Heydenrych said that it was a very difficult decision to skip the 2020 season, but the festival was just too short on funds to put on a festival that would be up to the expectations of its loyal audiences. “In addition, and given what is happening economically in the world around us, putting on a festival with a funding shortfall is too great a risk factor for the producer Liquidmatch as well as all the partners,”
“We will be back,” says Heydenrych, “the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre Trust and I are already looking for ways to fund the 2021 festival and we feel sure that we will be able to resume then. We are actively seeking partners aligned to the festival and we will be calling on the public to assist. Details will emerge early next year.”
The Maynardville venue has been used as a theatre since the mid-1950’s, with the first Shakespeare play, The Taming of the Shrew, being staged in 1956. It has evolved into a regular calendar fixture for high schools who organise outings for pupils to experience the outdoor plays. It’s also famed for its tradition of taking a picnic to enjoy in the park ahead of the show.
“We are sorry to disappoint our supporters, some of whom have been coming to the show for decades. We are also very sad that the opportunity is not there for our artists this year, but this is absolutely not the end of the line for theatre at Maynardville and we look forward to sharing our 2021 programme with you later in 2020.”