It’s been over 20 years since the Warehouse theatre first invited patrons in from the cultural cold to enjoy concerts, theatre and jazz evenings while ensuring the corner of tal street and sam Nujoma Drive would forever be associated with music. though one can barely fathom a Windhoek in which the Warehouse theatre does not exist, for the past few years the spot has been known as the Playhouse theatre.
Similar in musical mandate but attracting a somewhat younger crowd, the Playhouse theatre regularly played host to young movements such as spoken Word, Free Your Mind and song Night before rumours began that they would be closing down.
Enter Michael Ott of Penilane bass guitar and Namrock managerial fame who was so disturbed at the thought of seeing the place close down, he decided to save it himself.
“When I heard the Playhouse was closing I thought there is just no way,” said Ott. “When I was at school my first big gig was at the Warehouse theatre so I checked if there wasn’t a possibility for me to take it over.”
And fresh out of his first saturday night as the new manager of the new (old) Warehouse theatre, Ott is eager to share his plans with everyone who is interested in premium live entertainment and excellent service.
“Of course, there are few spots that offer live entertainment in Windhoek but here we have the facilities such as lights, sound and a permanent stage,” says Ott. “What my team and I want to do is create a great space for performance, play vibey music in an efficient setting with amazing food and cocktails. We just really want to support local here and create a true home of local music.”
In this endeavour, the plan is for the Warehouse theatre’s Bistro to offer a small permanent stage for acoustic acts of one or two people who can just walk in and pass a hat around during a performance of a couple of their songs. this sense of a home for local artists will be augmented by providing a home for another booming local brand namely Chops tshoopara’s ‘Liquid Events.’
“the Warehouse theatre will be the home of Liquid Events and Chops will be training people and making their famous cocktails,” says Ott. “there will be a huge focus on service, which is great because now I can make sure I do what I always complain about.”
In addition to the scrumptious cocktails, one of the highlights of the Warehouse theatre’s Bistro is its “Happy Hour” which will take place from Monday to saturday between 17h00 and 19h00 and boast N$10 beers and Kleine Keiler as well as N$12 ciders. the bistro’s kitchen will also serve pizza from 18h00 onwards and patrons can look forward to Greek and Mexican offerings from January.
On the agenda for December is a mix of events which will become the hallmark of the Warehouse theatre and includes “Olivia” a dance show by sven Erik on the 7th and 8th, the Jazz Family on sunday the 9th, international rock star Dilana of Rockstar supernova on the 12th, a good old DJ party on the 14th and Done Deal Recordz’ CD launch with Miss H, Fishman, DD Finest and Floritha with guest appearances by Exit, smokey, Ru, M Jay and Jericho.
the new Warehouse theatre is also an official Computicket so one can buy tickets to any show in Namibia and south Africa and collect the real thing from the premises.
“ I have the right team, we have the right venue and we have had phenomenal response from musicians and service providers alike,” says Ott.
As for the sentiments coming from the musicians with regards to a musician managing a place of music, Ott believes the feeling is: “We have it back!”
Pop in to the Warehouse theatre to see what exactly “it” is and support the buildings third incarnation of local music presentation.