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St Stephen's
Cape Town, Western Cape

Date:1839
Type:Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk - Church
Status:Extant
Street:Riebeek Square


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33°55'17.30" S 18°25'02.92" E Alt: 38m
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The only church in this denomination [Dutch Reformed] to be named after a saint, it seems the name was derived from the fact that the building was stoned by dissatisfied slaves whilst a service was in progress (St Stephen being the first martyr to be stoned to death). But to this day the congregation still call it 'Die Ou Komediehuis'.

The auditorium, described as lavish, was approached up a flight of steps beneath a columned portico. Thibault was Inspector of Buildings at the time the theatre was built and his influence can be seen in the sophistication of the design overlaying the tradition of the Cape.

When the building became a church, the classical portico was demolished to make way for a neo-Gothic door and windows. This century the Old Theatre was threatened with demolition more than once, before it was declared a National Monument and partially restored.

(Picton-Seymour, 1989: 23)

See African Theatre


Writings about this entry

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pg 91-92
Hoevers, Jan. 2012. Geskiedkundige kerke : 'n Gids tot 50 tradisionele kerke. Pretoria: Kontak-uitgewers. pg 41-42
Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pg 23
Rennie, John for CPIA. 1978. The Buildings of Central Cape Town 1978. Volume Two : Catalogue. Cape Town: Cape Provincial Institute of Architects. pg 61 item 48.1