Barn Theatre

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There are three venues which use or have used, the names "The Barn" "The Old Barn" "The Old Barn Theatre" or "The Barn Theatre" over the years.

The Old Barn - Port Elizabeth.

On June 2, 1862, the New Theatre, also known as The Theatre Royal, was opened in Whites Road, (now John Kani Rd) Port Elizabeth, by the Port Elizabeth Dramatic Company at the corner of Chapel Street (now Winston Ntshona St). It was described by the Eastern Province Herald as "a very pretty temple dedicated to the drama . . . wonders have been done in a very short space of time. The interior is lofty, cool and commodious, the decorations tastety, (sic) simple and effective. The stage is the largest of any yet built in South Africa, and the audience portion of the building, perhaps, as comfortable as could be wished." The newspaper was very kind regarding the seating, for patrons were well advised to bring their own cushions. Very soon, consequently, the theatre became known as the Old Barn. The building was sold at the turn of the century and the money raised was used towards the construction of the Port Elizabeth Opera House which is across the road. The building was eventually demolished in the 1960s to make way for the Receiver of Revenue's building.

The Barn - Constantia, Cape Town.

Also known as Old Barn Theatre, the The Old Barn or simply as The Barn

A theatre situated on the Bloomberg estate, ‘Uramarah’, in Constantia. In the 1960s David Bloomberg converted the barn on his family estate into The Barn, a space where he produced and directed plays.

This intimate space attracted performers such as Helen Bourne, Yvonne Bryceland, Johann Nell, Percy Sieff, Erica Rogers, Cobus Rossouw, Leonard Schach and others, and in later years would become home to The Barnstormers, a company created by Jill Fletcher and other writers and performers. It was then often referred to as the Old Barn Theatre.

The Barn Theatre (formerly The Barn) - Port Elizabeth/Gqeberha

The Barn Theatre is a venue in the Mandela Bay Theatre Complex in Gqeberha. It was built in 1985 during major extension works at the Port Elizabeth Opera House. In 2011, the Port Elizabeth Opera House board decided to extend The Barn and improve its access, with the addition of foyer space and passenger lift to the venue, as well as as extensions to the theatre itself. The venue was re-opened in February 2016. The Barn Theatre is a versatile space which when converted to cabaret style seating, has the capacity of 100, Theatre style seating of 80 and Gala seating of 150.

A storage area, upstairs in the Port Elizabeth Opera House, was adapted for "theatre-in-the-round" in 19??. This area was called "The Barn" as a sort of tribute to the original Theatre Royal.


Eastern Province Herald, June 1862.

Bloomberg, 2007

Tucker, 1997

Renovations and additions to Port Elizabeth Opera House,

All systems go for PE Opera House re-opening, algoafm, 1 Feb 2016

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