On Wednesday, 11 May 2022, the official launch of The Pam Golding Theatre at The Baxter saw the main theatre named after Pam Golding Properties’ late founder and life president, Pam Golding, as part of the company’s five-year sponsorship of Cape Town’s iconic and much-loved theatre.
Speaking at the event during the unveiling of a plaque marking the occasion, Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group, said: “As a patron of the arts, Pam was a lifelong fan of The Baxter Theatre which opened its doors in 1977, just a year after Pam founded Pam Golding Properties right here in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs.
“I cannot think of a more fitting way to honour her legacy and one of her great passions than to link her name to a theatre that she loved to attend and watched grow over so many decades.”
Baxter CEO and artistic director, Lara Foot, said: “For some time, The Baxter has been looking for partners in the corporate and private sector who would invest in our vision. No theatre of this size can flourish without sponsorship and funding.
“We believe that a healthy theatre community ultimately leads to a healthier, more conscious society. It is the job and calling of any worthy actor to connect with the audience members through the telling of a story, and when that individual audience member is connected, so is the person to the left and right of them and this makes for an understanding and a sense of togetherness – a universal belonging.”
The launch of The Pam Golding Theatre at The Baxter was celebrated with a special performance of comedic royalty, Marc Lottering, with his latest show, ‘Uncle Marc’, which now runs until 28 May 2022.
In addition to the sponsorship, the agreement with Pam Golding Properties also includes partnering and assisting The Baxter with as many of their initiatives as possible, incorporating for example, their development initiatives and supporting the Baxter Coffee Angels fundraising campaign, to ‘Buy The Baxter a cup of coffee every month’ for just R30.
The Baxter Theatre Centre came into being in 1977, as the result of a bequest from the late Dr W Duncan Baxter who bequeathed an amount of money to the University of Cape Town for the purpose of establishing a theatre which would, in his words, “develop and cultivate the arts in Cape Town and the adjacent districts”. During the apartheid era, and leveraging its strong relationship with UCT, the theatre was able to present multiracial, progressive work at a time when all other non-racial interactivity was banned or censored.
Over the years this vibrant award-winning multicultural theatre hub has continued to provide a stage for all types of professional entertainment which include drama, music dance, comedy, opera and intimate theatre, hosting the best of South African performing arts and reflecting the cultures of all the people of South Africa while developing an interactive relationship with local and university communities. Even through the difficult years of racial segregation its doors remained open to everyone and it thrived, drawing on indigenous talent and creating a uniquely South African theatre tradition.
Located at the foot of the University of Cape Town in the Southern Suburbs, The Baxter includes a world-class theatre, concert hall, studio, as well as its intimate Masambe and Flipside theatres, garden, rehearsal rooms, offices, a restaurant and bars and an impressive spacious foyer.