Built from Johannesburg’s Indian Fruit Market in 1913, South Africa’s ‘Theatre of the Struggle’ is now the home of live theatre shows. What started as a challenge against the apartheid era has blossomed into an epic change of culture. Over 30 years has passed and the Market Theatre is still the voice of the voiceless - opening the stage to music, dance and associated arts. Client appreciation and satisfaction comes as a high priority at the Market Theatre. Touching apartheid plays have been showcased at the Market Theatre, including Woza Albert, Bopha, Sophiatown and premieres of many Athol Fugard award-winning dramas. With new dramatic writing being brought onto the theatrical stage, the audience will continue to be entertained with challenging and engaging stage presence. It’s a real treat for everyone! Being the forefront of South African theatre, the 21st century will continue to witness the greater good of the creative world.
The outspoken, defiant messages obvious in productions such as Woza Albert, Asinamali, The Island, Bopha, You Strike the Woman You Strike a Rock, and many of Athol Fugard’s dramas – including Blood Knot - gained the theatre the reputation of working tirelessly to bring about democracy and social reform.
But the Market Theatre does not rest on its laurels and continues to present new, engaging and bold productions that entertain and assist audiences to understand South Africa’s development in its third decade of democracy. It is shows like this that you can watch when you have a night out in the centre of the Newtown Cultural Precinct. Close by are the South African Breweries Museum, the Workers’ Museum and Museum Africa, all well worth a visit.
In 1995 the American Jujamcyn Award was bestowed on the theatre. For more than two decades, these awards have honoured resident theatre organisations that make an outstanding contribution to the development of creative talent in theatre. Artistic excellence at the Market has been recognised by another 21 international and more than 300 South African theatre awards. The Market Theatre has gained an international reputation with shows like Sophiatown thrilling overseas audiences.
The theatre complex houses three theatres, an art gallery, a bar and the second Moyo restaurant which has become a firm favourite as a dining experience. Kippies International Jazz Club is also legendary. This swinging night spot, named after South African saxophonist, Kippie Morolong Moeketsi, features local and international musicians and the soulful strains of musical instruments can be heard in the area well into the early morning hours.
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