Happy 60th, Masque Theatre

2019-01-15 06:00
Masque Theatre.

Masque Theatre.

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Starting off from humble and dilapidated beginnings, the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg has become a home for many as they continue to shine bright.

The theatre celebrated its 60th anniversary recently and they say they have a lot to be grateful for.

The theatre was founded by Herbert Stern, an attorney in Muizenberg, from a dilapidated bowling alley next to the railway station and with true vision for the community with the aim to encourage participation in theatre by all those who so desire in the wider community.

Stern bought the property in 1957.

Wayne Ronné, Masque Theatre social media marketing and PR consultant, says Stern, together with his family, transformed the alley into a cosy, efficient and welcoming venue.

“Bertie, as he was fondly called by his family and friends, immediately formed the Masque Theatre Club to privatise the theatre for all races. The theatre opened its doors in 1959. At the time the only so-called multiracial theatres were the Masque Theatre and the old Space Theatre in Cape Town. Bertie hosted ‘amdram’ productions with his group, but many professionals also trod the Masque stage – Alec Bell, Percy Sieff, Yvonne Bryceland, Athol Fugard, Janet Suzman, to name a few. No doubt many famous names will continue to grace our beautiful stage in the years to come.”

Ronné says the Masque Theatre has had to overcome a lot of obstacles over the years as they rely on the patrons and volunteers to keep the theatre going.

“We survived a fire in 1997 that saw the theatre in ruins, but we bounced back thanks to Joan Leger-Lindeburgh who donated a million rand, and the societies that the theatre was left to after Bertie’s passing raised over R600 000 to rebuild the theatre,” he says.

The Masque is a theatre like no other.

“The Masque Theatre is a home. We are all family here. Some of the volunteers have day jobs but still find the time to keep our home going. We are eternally grateful for that. When you do a production at the Masque Theatre, bonds are made that are indescribable as we share so many precious moments on stage, backstage or five years after the show has ended. We even have legacies too. Legacies are those where grandparents, parents and children have shared the stage over the years,” he says.

The Masque Theatre will be celebrating its birthday on Friday 25 January at 19:30 with live entertainment, history, raffles and prizes. To secure your seat to be part of the history cost is R50 and bookings can be done through the booking office on 021 788 1898 or via email to bookings@masquetheatre.co.za.

On the night they will be launching the rebooted shows for 2019. They have selected five shows on their wall of shows and will be rebooting them this year. These shows include Educating Rita, Run For Your Wife, Proof, The Importance of Being Earnest and Calendar Girls. Be a Very Important Patron of the Masque Theatre by purchasing the exclusive ticket to these reboots for R500. This fabulous VIP package gets you exclusivity to see all five rebooted shows in 2019 on the exclusive VIP nights, the same seat allocation for all shows, free programme, drinks, snacks, and a meet-and-greet with the cast.

Ronné says: “We will ‘shine bright like a diamond’ and we will be a ‘diamond forever’. The rebooted shows for 2019 are going to be exciting and will keep us extremely busy, but we do have a few shows that will tickle your theatre taste buds like Pygmalion, and The Graduate happening later in the year. We welcome everyone to join the ‘gees’ at the Masque Theatre and may we live another 60 years,” he says.

V For more information visit www.masquetheatre.co.za.


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