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 The Barn, a space where he produced and directed plays. This intimate 200 seater attracted performers such as Helen Bourne, Yvonne Bryceland, Johann Nell, Percy Sieff, Erica Rogers, Cobus Rossouw, and Leonard Schach.

The Barn Theatre - Port Elizabeth.

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. In 2017, with the completion of the new wing in the Opera House, a new "theatre-in-the-round", which can seat 100 patrons, was constructed and named "The Barn Theatre", and used for small shows.

Sources

Eastern Province Herald, June 1862.

Bloomberg, 2007

Tucker, 1997

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