About Theatre in the Backyard

Theatre in the Backyard is a group of actors without an auditorium or a stage. Not only do the actors move beyond their usual boundaries taking their theatre beyond acting into real life, but the audience does too.

Cape Town theatregoers can experience a new form of theatre. Director and producer, Mhlanguli George, and his community theatre group Ikhwelo Arts community theatre group, have joined forces with tour operator Coffeebeans Routes, to produce real-life theatre pieces staged in the township backyards of Nyanga.

The actors make use of whatever 'props' they find available to them, whilst the audience, for whom there is no dedicated seating, are left to negotiate their way around the space and the performers.

Any discomfort is short-lived as, after the show, the audience join the director and his performers for a home-cooked dinner and beers.

The new idea for theatre grew out of a shift of focus from trying to get original works into standard theatres, to taking it into people's backyards. In this way, the audiences are small and the impact high.

In South Africa the vast majority of people live in shacks or wooden huts made from materials they can cobble together. Many of them are in the backyards of others' homes and known as Backyarders.

Don't expect light theatre. These real and potent 30-minute plays, in English, can be tough to watch, but that doesn't mean that the visitor to Cape Town won't connect with them.

Those who have been to Theatre in the Backyard describe it as 'hard-hitting, yet moving'. Their 2015/2016 production is called Is He Mad? And is based on Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist.

Need to Know

WhereIt's a 3.5 hour experience, give or take a half hour, which includes transport to and from the venue, an introduction, dinner and conversation.

WhenBooking is essential.
Private groups only.
Monday to Saturday from 19h00 to 22h30.

How muchPrices on request.

TelephoneCoffee Bean Routes on +27 (0)21 813-9829

OvernightStay nearby in Nyanga, in Cape Town


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