Also known as the “Purple Palace” (have you seen the outside walls?), Gate69 opened on 87 Bree Street in September 2016. The Burlesque-meets-The Birdcage theatre is the first of its kind in the Mother City – it’s Bree Street’s very own broadway; a mini Moulin Rouge, if you will.
Three superbly talented drag artistes don heels, mile-high wigs and dolled-up faces to deliver their own, original South African musical comedy content.
As you pass the corner of Bree and Hout, a red carpet – and the lady of the hour – greets you at the door with a peck on the cheek. (S)he’s tall, blonde, dolled up, and certainly striking: in a red evening gown with an unwavering smile. This enthusiastic welcome not only sets the stage for the evening’s theatrics, but hints that you’re about to be treated to a very special, very intimate night out.
Before the theatre doors open at 7pm, guests gather in the lobby bar. Soft background music sets the mood. We have a drink before it’s time to take our seats. The theatre is dark and cosy. Dinner tables are romantically dressed with gold and purple accents, and a dusting of glitter. Designer mezze are served on a double-tiered Lazy Susan, followed by a flute of soup and bread. Everything is delicious. And, after the show, purple tequila ice-cream cones are served. Best of all, your waitresses are The Trolley Dollies™ themselves, dressed to impress before they rush off to prepare for the evening’s entertainment.
Purple theatre of dreams
The lights are dimmed before an eccentric voice overhead makes the necessary introductions. The curtains are pulled back and spotlights hit the stage, which has been decorated to resemble a variety of scenes: a flight attendant’s cabin; the witches’ cave from Macbeth; a plastic surgeon’s waiting room; the flimsy houses from The Three Little Pigs ; and even a backstage dressing room from where the cast make their appearance and divulge the entertainment.
It’s all perms, eye shadow and tight-fitting short skirts as Cathy Specific and her Trolley Dollies™ arrive on stage. You can’t help but smile. The show is opened with a song-and-dance number, followed by hilarious chatter between the three excellent performers. The decision to seat just 90 people means the audience never feels excluded from the action, whether seated in First, Business or Economy class.
The energetic cast make their way into the audience a few times throughout the evening, engaging us with witty innuendo, and ensuring we have a pleasant flight – a given, at this fabulous venue.
|Non-specific||Currently showing – 28 September 2019, Wednesday – Saturday||Book Now|
|Three Blind Mice||4 October – 21 December 2019, Wednesday – Saturday||Book Now|
Good to know Arrive at 6.30pm for a drink before dinner, which is 7pm. The show starts at 8.15pm.