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Barnyard Theatre Willowbridge

Barnyard Theatre Willowbridge
Area: Northern Suburbs
Suburb: Bellville
Physical Address: Willowbridge Centre, Carl Cronje Drive, Cape Town
Postal Address: Shop F09, 1st Floor, Willowbridge Life Style Centre, 39 Carl Cronje Drive, Tygervalley, Cape Town
Phone: +27 (0)21 914 8898
Fax: +27 (0)21 914 9182
GPS: 33° 52´ 12.24" S; 18° 38´ 00.13" E
Web Address: www.barnyardtheatre.co.za/venue.aspx?vid=5


Barnyard Theatre Willowbridge


Where it all began...
by Sybel Coetzee Möller

Two small blonde boys dash across the lawn, a cashbox firmly tucked under the arm of the eldest. "We're late, Ma's going to open the doors and we've still got to cut the cakes and the Irish coffee glasses need a polish!" "Are you ready guys? I’m going to let them in, it's time!" I open the doors. "Hi Sue, hi John, welcome, you're in the limelight box tonight. Mrs Manning! Good evening, party of eight? You're second table form the left, in front of the stage.

The theatre fills up, that magic buzz of a full house is tangible, the smell of wood chips, red wine and gourmet picnic baskets. Louis gives me the signal, I move in next to him behind the sound desk and pick up a small black box with a couple of levers – the lighting system! I glance over my right shoulder to Marius, 14 years old, and Heinrich, two years his junior, in the bar/coffee shop, time to kill the lights… It's Showtime Folks!!

We, the Möllers, have both been involved in the performing arts most of our lives, Louis as co-founder and producer of amongst others, Carte Blanche, and me Sybel Coetzee, as a freelance actress and TV presenter. In 1989 we took stock of our hectic lives and decided that family comes first, with the result – goodbye Joburg, hallo, brave new world, a dairy farm close to Plettenberg Bay. After a few years of farming we longed for a way to combine our two loves – the footlights and our farm. That was 1996, the birth of The Barnyard Theatres. Why Barnyard? Louis had built a beautiful, rustic American-style wooden barn on the farm and this we converted into a theatre with an old-world atmosphere, heavy wooden beams, a horseshoe gallery, big, big tables with welcoming lanterns and wood chips on the floor. What a happy happening this has been! We had enormous fun with this our first very much hands-on family affair.

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