Bellville Civic Theatre

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The Bellville Civic Theatre was the first purpose built municipal civic theatre in the country.

Known as the Bellville Stadskouburg in Afrikaans and the Bellville Civic Theatre in English. Also referred to as the Bellville Civic Centre. , more popularly known as the Bellville Civic Theatre,

For more on the concept of a municipal or civic venue, see Civic Theatre

The venue

Designed by architect Johannes Anthonie Smith as a cultural and social centre Cape Town’s Northern suburb Bellville, the building hosted a 750 seater auditorium, a banqueting hall and a conference room.

The theatre venue itself was designed to specifications supplied by National Theatre Organisation (NTO)), and Smith commissioned the Pretoria artist Leo Théron to design and execute a large mosaic mural for the entrance foyer of the Civic Theatre.

The theatre was opened in 1956 with the NTO production of Germanicus by N.P. van Wyk Louw.

Serving as a community centre, the complex’s facilities can be hired for theatrical and musical productions, conferences, meetings and parties, and it has been used by various other school, university, professional and amateur performing companies over the years, including National Theatre Organisation (NTO), the Cape Performing Arts Board (CAPAB) and the local group known as Bellvillese Afrikaanse Toneelvereniging (BAT).

It also hosted numerous larger theatre events over the years, including festivals and competitions, among them the regional trials for the annual ATKV drama competition, annual Tygerberg International Eisteddfod and one-off events like an Afrikaanse Toneelweek ("Afrikaans theatre week") in September of 1965.


Among the prominent theatrical works performed there over the years have been:

Germanicus by N.P. van Wyk Louw (1957)

Opdrifsels by H.A. Fagan (1959)

Romeo en Jeanette by Jean Anouilh (1960)

Johanna, die Soldaat van God by George Bernard Shaw (1960)

The Prisoner by Bridget Boland (1961)

Hester die Maltrap by Gerrit Naudé (1964)

Caesar by André P. Brink (1965)

Marionet aan die Muur by Hélène Pienaar-De Klerk (1965)

Speelgoed van Glas by Tennessee Williams (1966)

Mr Pim Passes By by A.A. Milne (1968)

Arme Marat Aleksei Arbuzov (1968)

Elektra by Sophocles (1968)

Die Vonkel in Haar Oë! by Gerhard J. Beukes (1968)

Mattewis en Meraai by P.G. du Plessis (1978)

Kyk Hoe Hol Hulle by Philip King (1983)

Kringe in 'n Bos by Dalene Matthee and Peet van Rensburg (1988)

Hups in die Hydro by Pieter Fourie (1995)

Run for your Wife by Ray Cooney (1991)

The Lyons by Nicky Silver (2014)


Go to ESAT Bibliography

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