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The Market Theatre, Newtown, Johannesburg

Market Theatre Building, Newtown, JohannesburgTake a disused 1913 Edwardian building, that once housed the Indian Fruit Market, a troupe of dedicated anti-apartheid actors with heaps of enthusiasm, and a theatre of struggle is born – the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.

Led by Barney Simon and Mannie Manim, the actors opened shop in 1976 – the same week that the Soweto uprising began – an omen of things to come …

Pushing the limits on the censorship laws in an apartheid South Africa, 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, not only gave voice to the growing anti-apartheid lobby, but were some of South Africa’s best productions. This theatre was one of only a few places where blacks and whites shared the stage and performed for non-racial audiences.

Athol Fugard contended that:

The new South Africa was blueprinted on the stages of the Market Theatre, long before the politicians started talking about it.

The Market Theatre remains at the forefront of South African theatre, with a focus on the production of new local work. It is also a good place to stop for a bite when visiting Newtown.

Market Theatre, Newtown, JohannesburgThe impressive Market Theatre Complex consists of the Main Theatre, Barney Simon Theatre, Laager Theatre, an art gallery, bar and Moyo restaurant which has become a firm favourite as an African dining experience.

The Market Theatre: Tel: +27 (0)11 832-1641: Find out what is showing on the Market Theatre Website.

Address: 56 Margaret Mcingana Street, Newtown, Jozi. Tel: 011 832 1641/2/3: Box Office times: Tue – Fri     11h00 – 20h30: Saturdays   12h00 – 20h30: Sundays     12h00- 15h30.

Directions: Turn into Carr Street off the M1 highway or the Nelson Mandela Bridge.  At the next set of traffic lights turn into Miriam Makeba Street. The entrance to the Market Theatre parking will be on your right at the traffic lights where Miriam Makeba intersects Gwigwi Mrwebi.

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