Masque Theatre

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The Masque Theatre is a venue in Main Road, Muizenberg in the Cape Peninsula.

Also referred to simply as The Masque in publications and publicity material.

The history

Created as a small theatre by Bertie Stern, who had bought a dilapidated bowling alley next to the railway station in Muizenberg in 1957 and together with his family, transformed it into a thriving community theatre. The Masque opened in 1959 for the use of professional and amateur actors.

The grand opening of the theatre was on 10 January 1959 with Sorry, Wrong Number, said to be "by Lillian Jamieson" (probably the stage version of the 1941 radio play by Lucille Fletcher (1912-2000)[1], performed by actress Lillian Jamieson) and The Bespoke Overcoat by English playwright Wolf Mankowitz (1924-1998)[2] . The theatre presented performers such as Yvonne Bryceland, Alec Bell, Zoë Randall and Bill Curry long before they became household names. *** In 19** Stern left his theatre in trust to four societies - **, **, ** and **. It is now run by a committee called Mancom and offers approximately twelve productions a year.

From 1982 onwards the Muizenberg Amateur Dramatic Society (MADS) also used the Masque Theatre for its productions.

The theatre burnt down in October 1997 but was rebuilt.

The Masque Theatre celebrated its 50th birthday in January 2009 with the performance of David Hare's The Breath of Life directed by Sue Bolton for the Claremont Dramatic Society.

In 2020 the theatre , like so many venues and companies in the country, was in dire straits because of the enforced lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic that had overtaken the world. The management was preparing to close its doors permanently, but at the end of April turned to crowd funding effort to try to keep the theatre going.

Since the lifting of restrictions it has become active again, with performances such as Twelfth Night (originally planned for 2020, performed 2023), .


(JF) (Source: Celia Kauth(?) tel: 021 788 1898 (w) Mancom member)

Cape Argus, 18 August 1998.

Cape Times, 7 January 2009.,racial%20theatres%20in%20Cape%20Town.

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