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BARNYARD AT GATEWAY (article first published : 2001-09-21)

South Africa’s sixth Barnyard Theatre will open at Gateway on Umhlanga Rocks on November 2. The 350-seater venue will offer Durban theatre-goers a unique experience in evening entertainment.

The Barnyard Theatre at Gateway, which is owned by well-known South African theatre personality Aldo Brincat, will differ from its franchise partners in the rest of the country as it will be the first to be situated in a shopping complex as opposed to a rustic barn.

The Barnyard Theatre concept was the brainchild of Louis Moller and his wife Sybil Coetzee, who owns the franchise. They have both been involved in the performing arts most of their lives and after a few years of dairy farming near Plettenberg Bay, they longed for a way to combine their two loves – the footlights and their farm. The original Barnyard Theatre was established in a converted barn on their dairy farm and from here, their interest in the theatre and live entertainment blossomed into a series of similar venues around the country.

“I am very excited at the idea of a Barnyard Theatre opening in Durban and even more so that it is situated at Gateway. While it will retain the charm of the other Barnyard Theatres, it is aimed to be more upmarket to fit in with its surroundings and urban culture,” said Louis Moller, owner of the Barnyard Theatres franchise.

The Barnyard experience offers patrons the opportunity to enjoy the highest quality shows for just R65. Patrons are able to take their own food. While seating is at tables, guests are able to decide whether they want to pack a picnic basket, grab some take-away on the way, do sushi or put on a three-course meal. A bar facility is available in the venue and there is a cigar lounge.

The first show to be staged is Roll Over Beethoven which has enjoyed sold-out runs around the country. The classic rock show, produced by Duck Chowles and directed by Ivan von Memerty, boasts a five-piece band with three singers. The talented cast includes Christian Denny, Shelly McLean (currently appearing in Uptown Guy at the Langoustine), Granville Michaels, Kate O’Hanlon, Judy Brown, Roger Grant, Alan Lloyd and Graham Curry.

Bookings only through the Barnyard Theatre at Gateway on 764-1647.




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