The Barnyard Theatre's Story - Where did it all begin?
In 1996 the first Barnyard Theatre was opened by the Möller family on a dairy farm just outside Plettenberg
Bay. Louis and Sybel had both been involved in the performing arts most of their lives, Louis as co-founder
and producer of, amongst others, Carte Blanche, and Sybel Coetzee as a freelance actress and TV presenter.
In 1989 they took stock of their hectic lives with two young boys and decided that family comes first. As a result
they decided to open a dairy farm close to Plettenberg Bay. After a few years of farming they longed for a way
to combine their two loves – the footlights and the farm. Then 1996 saw the birth of The Barnyard Theatres.
Why Barnyard? Louis had built a beautiful, rustic American-style wooden barn on the farm, which Sybel and
Louis converted into a theatre with an old-world atmosphere, heavy wooden beams, a horseshoe gallery, big
tables with welcoming lanterns and wood chips on the floor.
In 2003 Louis joined forces with well-known South African musician Duck Chowles and together they formed
The Barnyard Theatre Production Company. Having produced, amongst others, the mega-hit Roll Over
Beethoven, Louis instinctively knew Duck belonged in the Barnyard stable. Duck Chowles now directs and
produces all Barnyard Theatre Productions.
The Barnyard Theatre concept is 20 years old this year.
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How many Barnyard Theatres are there?
Theatres have grown to include Emperors Palace Barnyard (East Rand, Jhb), Cresta Barnyard (Randburg, Jhb),
Rivonia Barnyard (Sunninghill, Jhb), Pretoria Barnyard (Moreleta Park, Pta), Cape Town Barnyard (Tyger Valley,
Cape Town) and Gateway Barnyard (Umhlanga, Durban). Each venue is slightly different however the general layouts,
look and feel of the theatre interior are all similar and resemble the original concept.
How do The Barnyard Theatres source and grow local talent?
The in-house production company employs a wide variety of musicians and performers and has at least 8
different shows running at any given time. The Barnyard Theatre believes in growing and supporting local
talent. One of our shows, Under African Skies (Also known as Diamonds & Dust), has performed at over 80
theatres in Belgium, Holland, France and Denmark. Barnyard shows have also been staged internationally in
the Middle and Far East, and our productions have also been seen in one of the entertainment hubs of South
Africa, the renowned Sun City.
Barnyard music shows transcend boundaries – they’re vibrant, uplifting and highly entertaining. The Barnyard
Production team identifies talent, hones their skills and gives performers the opportunity to earn a living doing
what they love and do best.
What is the Barnyard Theatre Experience?
Barnyard shows feature the greatest hits of our time. In addition, we regularly host well-known South African bands,
comedians and performers. In 2014, we started hosting and promoting tours with original international acts.
Patrons sit around heavy wooden tables and have the option of packing their own picnic basket or ordering food from
the theatre. For the love of music, come and be entertained at your local Barnyard Theatre.
Sit back, relax and enjoy brilliant entertainment!
How can The Barnyard Theatre be used as a venue for Corporate and Fundraising events?
The Barnyard Theatre has been the venue of choice for many well-known companies for corporate functions,
teambuilding, conferences and more!
The Barnyard Theatre also offers fundraising opportunities as part of our social responsibility to the community.
We offer companies and NPOs a reduced ticket rate, enabling them to re-sell at a profit to raise funds for their cause.
Please see our venue specific pages for more information and to request quotes