The Maynardville Open-Air Festival will be bigger and better this year.The festival has launched early bird bookings for the 2019 season. Following a successful first season for the expanded Maynardville Open-Air Festival, the atmospheric park setting in Wynberg will once again play host to a three-month feast of classically inspired shows. Producer Brian Heydenrych says:, “Last year’s maiden Maynardville Open-Air Festival was really well received and we have been encouraged to bring back our wonderful partners to perform an exciting season of classical works with a contemporary edge. We look forward to welcoming audiences new and old to the 2019 festival.” Lower priced early bird tickets have opened for each of the shows in the season so audiences are encouraged to visit to get the best prices on tickets. All tickets can be booked via Computicket or Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695.The 2019 Shakespeare has been announced and it is one of the Bard’s greatest tales, Richard the Third. In this production, the infamous hunchback will be played by award-winning actor/comedian Alan Committie and he will take the audience on a journey through palace politics, coruscating corruption and macabre machinations in order to become the new king of England. Award-winning Shakespeare director Geoffrey Hyland also returns to Maynardville after the triumph of Twelfth Night (2017) to direct this comic-tragedy. With a cast of 14 and costumes by the talented Leigh Bishop, this production promises an action-packed, theatrical rollercoaster romp as it depicts the Machiavellian rise to power and subsequent short reign of King Richard III. Catch the season from Thursday 7 February to Saturday 9 March, and be sure to book early for the popular Valentine’s night performance. The season will open with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s Famously Incidental, a selection of well-loved famous works. Expect to be transported into the world of Grieg, Beethoven and Bizet in this exploration of light and lovely classical works conducted by Brandon Phillips and narrated by Rodney Trudgeon. There are only three of these concerts from Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 January 2019 so audiences should book sooner rather than later. The Cape Town City Ballet is bringing their popular Swingtime into the outdoor setting for Swingtime in the Park, Sean Bovim’s ballet performed to the music of the thirties. The Cape Town City Ballet dancers will be interpreting nostalgic hit tunes such as “It Had to be You”, “Unforgettable” and “Fly Me to the Moon”. Catch the ballet from Wednesday 23 to Sunday 27 January 2019 – booking is live. Audiences who caught last year’s riot of wit will be first in line to get tickets to this year’s comedy under the stars. Kurt Schoonraad’s Cape Town Comedy Club will bring a line-up of top names to the stage under the hilarious host Rob van Vuuren for Jesters in the Park – Season 2. Van Vuuren is joined by Phil de Lange, Dylan Skews and Reagen Allen. This chance to laugh under the stars and at the world and ourselves is not to be missed. Best enjoyed with friends and family and a picnic in the park beforehand. Catch the Jesters from Thursday 31 January to 2 February 2019. A series of one-off Sunday evening concerts take place throughout the 2019 Maynardville Open-Air Festival. Catch Derek Gripper once again with his unique infusion of classical traditions, avant garde Brazilian music, Malian kora, Cape Town folk, and even Indian classical music which has carried him to the world’s stages, including his Carnegie Hall debut in 2015. A special concert from Cape Town Opera is set to be a real treat for opera fans – the much-loved Graham Weir teams up with Jono Tait and his sister Christine Weier for a journey of Songs from Shakespeare, and a gathering of gospel voices from Vumani Choral Projects will close the season with a powerful evening of song. V Each production has special offers for early bird bookings and block bookings (over eight), and there are concession prices for schools and seniors. Audiences can also take advantage of pre view show prices forRichard III.Booking has now opened at Computicket and via Artscape Dial-a-Seat on 021 421 7695.