Bloemfontein Civic Theatre

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Afrikaans: Bloemfonteinse Stadskouburg, Markgraaf Street, Bloemfontein. Inaugurated in 1959, it was one of the first formal civic theatres built with the encouragement of National Theatre Organisation (NTO), and supported by the Bloemfontein Teatergroep and the Bloemfontein Repertory Society. Built to the best contemporary standard it could seat 464 and was used for ballet, opera and drama. The first official performance April 15 1959 was Hellersee (W.A. de Klerk). The Bloemfontein Teatergroep, The Bloemfontein Shakespeare Circle and the Bloemfontein Repertory Society all used the theatre initially and later it became the first home of for PACOFS.

The foyer was renovated in 1992*.

Among the many memorable productions here were Frank Staff's ballet production of Raka, André Huguenet in his last role in NTO's The Prisoner (Boland - produced 1961), Anna Neethling-Pohl as Mother Courage in Moeder Courage (Brecht) for PACOFS in 1973; Afrikaners is Plesierig and Bobaas van die Boendoe? (André P. Brink), which premiered there in 1972, and N.P. van Wyk Louw's hugely controversial republic festival piece, Die Pluimsaad Waai Vêr (1966?*), Pieter Fourie's SACPAC winning tragedy Die Koggelaar (1987)

Although it was replaced as PACOFS home by the opening of the Sand du Plessis Theatre Complex in 198*, the Civic kept going as an active venue for touring and amateur production. For instance, the annual national finals of the ATKV Amateur Play Competition always take place at the Civic. (Welman)


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