Valentine’s under the Stars as Top Gun lights up the screen at the Hope @ Paul Cluver Amphitheatre

Watching a film in a forest theatre is not something a lot of Valentine’s sweethearts will be expecting this Valentine’s Day, but romantics who want to surprise their partners with an extraordinary experience need do no more than buy their tickets and pack their picnic.

Picnicking at Hope @ Paul Cluver. Image courtesy of David Morris
Picnicking at Hope @ Paul Cluver. Image courtesy of David Morris

Set in beautiful Elgin, the Hope @Paul Cluver Amphitheatre will be screening old-school classic Top Gun this Valentine’s Day, Saturday 14 February. With tickets at a mere R100 each, it’s a date that won’t break the budget either.

Spreading the love a little further – the proceeds of all Hope Festival events go to the Thembalitsha Foundation; an organisation that supports and rehabilitates some of the most vulnerable and desperate people in our society. The organisation is very active in the Grabouw area – as well as across Cape Town.

The Hope Festival series is a programme of live music, theatre and cinema held on the Paul Cluver Estate. The programme kicked off in November and will run until the end of March.

After the movie beneath the stars, there are only two more opportunities to visit the amphitheatre this summer season: The Hidden Year’s Festival (7 March) will pay tribute to the work of some of South Africa’s foremost struggle artists and will feature Lesley Rae-Dowling, Anton Goosen, Roger Lucey and other artists performing live.

On 28 March, a children’s theatre festival will take place with a performance of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox as well as the plays Get Kraken and Memory. There will also be fun improv-style theatre and lots of fun and games for the family.

Patrons can bring their own food but warm and cold food, along with snacks, is for sale. No alcohol is permitted to be brought into the venue, but Paul Cluver wine is on sale – along with craft beer, soft drinks, teas and coffees.

Ticket holders should bring blankets and cushions to sit on but folding chairs are not permitted. Seating is unreserved with every seat affording a golden circle view. Limited group tables are also available.

Gates for Top Gun open at 18h00 and the show starts at 19h30.

The event is supported by The Department of Arts of Culture, Business Arts South Africa and Appletiser.

Bookings can be made through Computicket:


FOLLOW THE EVENTS ON TWITTER                                           @hopepaulcluver PAUL CLUVER: | 021 844 0605
ELGIN VALLEY | 021 848 9838 for local accommodation bookings
GAFFLEY’S:  021 859 2561 for group transport solutions


REMAINING PROGRAMME (full details available on

14-Feb 18h00 19h30 Valentines Movies: TOP GUN
07-Mar 14h00 14h30 Hidden Years Music Festival –
28-Mar 12h00 13h00 Kids Arts Festival –
Fantastic Mr Fox, Get Kraken, Memory and interactive ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ style improvisation


Last summer’s season (2013/2014)succeeded in generating a lot of publicity for Thembalitsha’s cause as well as over R300,000 in much needed funds. It attracted some interest from BUSINESS ARTS SOUTH AFRICA too, who short-listed the initiative as a FINALIST for a 2014 BASA award.

This season, the Department of Arts and Culture has awarded the initiative a grant.

Says Emily House, Hope@PaulCluver Events Manager for Thembalitsha:

‘We are ecstatic about how successful our first season was and the benefit it brought to Thembalitsha. We are also thrilled about the artists we have lined up for the summer programme and plan to use last year’s success as a spring-board to attract further interest from both artists, the public and sponsors.

We are extremely proud to have the continued support from Paul Cluver Wines and fellow sponsor, Appletiser, both of whom recognise the benefits of investing in organisations that address local needs as well as realising how their long-term partnership enables the sustainability of a project such as this. Their support of Thembalitsha via Hope@PaulCluver enables us to maximise their investment for the good of the needy in our community.’

The amphitheatre is encircled by a forest of eucalyptus trees. This open-air arena is limited to just 600 which makes for an exclusive, intimate event and enables every ticket to be a golden circle ticket. It is just 45 minute drive from Cape Town International. Performances are specifically chosen to match the natural acoustics of the venue.

The amphitheatre has successfully hosted top SA and international acts for over a decade.

The Elgin Valley is an area of extreme need. 40% of households live below the poverty line (less than R2000 a month).  With a massive migrant population, due to the seasonal nature of farm employment, the valley struggles to cope with the social and medical issues that arise from the poverty and the large-scale informal settlements that have rapidly developed.

Thembalitsha’s mission is to provide hope by developing disadvantaged people of the Western Cape to a point of self-reliance through the provision of healthcare, education and training. They invest in communities throughout the Western Cape and currently manage 6 projects, 2 of which operate within the Elgin Valley and respond specifically to the essential needs of the area:

  • VILLAGE OF HOPEis a 12 bed residential facility caring for children infected and affected by HIV, AIDS and TB. They also deliver a sports-based life skills programme to over 500 children in the community each week.
  • THEMBACARE GRABOUWis a registered hospice that provides palliative care to terminally ill patients through inpatient and home-based care.

Until recently the area had a known HIV infection rate of 35% but thanks to the hard work of Thembalitsha and other organisations working in the community this rate has been greatly reduced.

The Paul Cluver Estate is a family-owned and family-run wine estate based in the Elgin Valley. The family have owned the property since 1896 and are recognised as pioneers of wine in the area. They focus on producing elegant wines that are expressive of the terroir and these have earned them numerous awards locally and internationally.

Says Paul Cluver IV, Managing Director of Paul Cluver Wines:

‘Paul Cluver Wines is proud to dedicate the amphitheatre not only to arts but also to the support and development of the community by supporting Thembalitsha.  We are honoured to be able to partner with such amazing people who give so selflessly to make a difference in the Elgin community.’

Says Frank Christie, Founder of Thembalitsha:

‘I am so excited about Hope@PaulCluver.  I see this collaboration as an opportunity to inspire others to maximise their areas of influence in order to make a difference in our community.’

Says Francois Rozen, Managing Director of Appletiser:

‘We are pleased to be a supporter of this second season of Hope concerts at the Paul Cluver Amphitheatre in our beautiful Elgin valley. We would all like to do more for those in need around us, whether in our personal or professional capacity. Thembalitsha does much good here in Elgin and also more broadly in the Western Cape. Through their efforts, we hope to be able to create special moments for the many that attend the concert series and for those who will benefit from the funds raised. Enjoy the music, the extra-ordinary setting, the finest drinks in the land and do find out about the children who have lived, live and will live at the Village of Hope.’

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