Looking for things to do in Cape Town? Alexander Upstairs is an intimate performance space completely separate from the bar area with a festival-style programming model featuring drama, comedy, cabaret, jazz, acoustic sessions, readings and more. We often schedule more than one performance per night so please check times carefully when booking.

Josie Field Unplugged

Acoustic Soul • Running Time: 60 mins
Created, written and performed by Josie Field
Her signature sound is a potent mix of lyricism and fire, heart-felt issues and tender constructions, rooted in folk but encompassing multiple genres. Like silk on gravel, Field has a unique textured blues infused voice and soulful vocal delivery style which sets her apart. Having dabbled in soul, blues and country in her third album and with strong elements of jazz coming through on her latest release, Josie is no ordinary folk musician, don’t be misled by the singer/songwriter tag. Earlier this year Josie Field’s latest release S’bongile was nominated for a South African Music Award. Her fourth offering is a completely indie acoustic album which includes some of her best work and embodies the magic of her stripped down acoustic show. Born from pure demand for a more acoustic representation of Josie’s sound, the album has delivered, S’bongile has a real organic feel. Stripped of a glossy full production, the warmth of Josie’s voice and lyrical style glides over tasteful guitars with hints of percussion. Lyrics have space to breath and it’s clear what an exceptionally talented songwriter Field is. Experience the intimate nature and soulful performance of one of South Africa’s most versatile and experienced singer songwriter.
Earlier this year Josie Field’s latest release S’bongile was nominated for a South African Music Award. Her fourth offering is a completely indie acoustic album which includes some of her best work and embodies the magic of her stripped down acoustic show. Born from pure demand for a more acoustic representation of Josie’s sound, the album has delivered, S’bongile has a real organic feel. Stripped of a glossy full production, the warmth of Josie’s voice and lyrical style glides over tasteful guitars with hints of percussion. Lyrics have space to breath and it’s clear what an exceptionally talented songwriter Field is. Experience the intimate nature and soulful performance of one of South Africa’s most versatile and experienced singer songwriter.


Book for Josie Field Unplugged by clicking this button:
Fri 28th Aug 8pm R90 (R80 online): Hurry! Only 6 tickets left!

The Underground Library

Play Reading - young adult script • Running Time: 55 mins
Written by Jon Keevy | Read by: Faniswa Yisa, Sive Gubangxa, Callum Tilbury, and others
Khanya is on the verge of getting through matric and out into the world when she crosses path with a fugitive from the cops. He gives her something forbidden in this future Johannesburg... a book. And inadvertently kicks off a race between government agents, terrorists and hackers to get control of the truth.

Jon Keevy presents his new play for young adults, a dystopian action adventure inspired by the current political climate.



Book for The Underground Library by clicking this button:
Sat 29th Aug 8pm R60 (R50 online)

You Suck (and other inescapable truths)

Comedy • Running Time: 50 mins
Directed and Designed by Francesco Nassimbeni | Written and performed by Klara van Wyk | Costume by Richard De Jager
Warning: Language
Facebook Event
She’s loopy, she’s mean and she is the proud owner of 112 my little ponies. Part 'Dear Diary’, part social commentary, "YOU SUCK-and other inescapable truths", engages with growing in all its complexities. The curious concoction of day-dreaming, conspiracy theorising and confessional monologues will have you asking yourself deep, probing questions...such as, 'Should I dye my hair Lilac?'

So, imagine that Rainbow Brite crawled out of your 80's TV set, got herself expelled from Piet Retrief Sekondere for sniffing Tippex, only to wind up on your doorstep with a paper plane in her hair, trying to convert you to the My Little Pony religion.

You Suck (And Other Inescapable Truths) offers excellent tips on how to "dance sexy, like in hip-hop', roll with the cool crew, and how to pick up hidden meanings in popular television shows.

There will be some singing.

YOU SUCK the trailer from francesco nassimbeni on Vimeo.


Francesco Nassimbeni is a writer, director and designer. His work exists somewhere between the moving islands of performance and design. He is currently enrolled in a masters degree, investigating methods of participatory art creation. Klara van Wyk, is a performer and clown currently finishing up her masters degree at UCT. 

Press & Reviews




Book for You Suck (and other inescapable truths) by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Mon 31st Aug 7pm R70 (R60 online) Tue 1st Sep 7pm R70 (R60 online) Wed 2nd Sep 7pm R70 (R60 online) Thu 3rd Sep 7pm R70 (R60 online) Fri 4th Sep 7pm R70 (R60 online) Sat 5th Sep 7pm R70 (R60 online)

Brynn Live @ Alexander Bar

Alternative/Folk • Running Time: 60 mins
Vocals and Guitar performed by Julian Place | Drums by Joy Millar | Vocals by Frances Sholto-Douglas | Bass by Robert Fowler
Inspired by the likes of Damien Rice, Jacques Brel and Bright Eyes, Brynn plays a poetic blend of folk and alternative rock with an honesty and passion that is rare to witness. Gathering a positive following through their performances at varieties of venues and festivals around Cape Town (such as the Cape Town Fringe Festival, Octopus' Garden and Obviouzly Armchair) Brynn delivers powerful and emotional performances that leave audiences breathless and hungry for more. 

Brynn began in July last year and quickly released a live EP called "seeds", a medley of rock and folk tracks created during practices. As the band progressed and began to perform more frequently their sound changed and matured dramatically and drifted into its own blend of French jazz, alternative/rock and folk. Brynn has just began the recording of their debut album "Vinegar" which is set to be release in November/December.

Julian has performed around Cape Town regularly since immigrating to South Africa from New Zealand four years ago. Mostly playing in small and intimate venues around the city (Down South, Carnival Court, Obviously Armchair etc). Julian has had the creative freedom and space to develop his musical abilities and understanding extensively over the years. Julian claims that Brynn has been his most personally fulfilling and exciting project yet.

 Joy Millar has been drumming for bands on the Cape Town music scene for over 8 years, namely the likes of "Highly Strung", Ripcord (a regular at the Hermanus Whale Festival) and award winning Hotel Iris who headlined the 2014 Barleycorn music festival.

Grahamstown local Rob Fowler has had extensive musical training in the past and has played trumpet and bass guitar for various bands and groups over the years. Most recently "Black Rabbit", before joining Brynn in 2014. 



Book for Brynn Live @ Alexander Bar by clicking this button:
Mon 31st Aug 9pm R60 (R0 online)

The Plot hole

Stand-Up comedy • Running Time: 55 mins
Stuart Cairns and Westley Cockrell
Cape Town based comedy duo Stuart Cairns and Westley Cockrell bring to life the trials and tribulations they have faced while pursuing careers in stand-up comedy. From keeping a day job to chasing the impossible dream of impressing their parents, these two oddballs will have you laughing at their expense.
“A highly energetic show. Two whimsical characters take you on an explorative journey to becoming standup comedians. They maintain good humour, despite obstacles in their journey. Their creative use of props and audience interaction guarantee an hour of hearty laughter.”

- Simone Ferreira for Cue Magazine

Press & Reviews




Book for The Plot hole by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Thu 3rd Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 4th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 5th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online): Hurry! Only 13 tickets left!

Watervolk

Live Music • Running Time: 60 mins
Performed by Souldada | Vocalist Femke Hoeksma | Guitarist Herman Woltman | Cellist Carel van Leeuwen | Bass Guitarist Johan Keus | Drummer Willem Smid
Watervolk is an eclectic, live music performance by the touring Dutch band, Souldada. This is their first return to South Africa since their previous invitation to Darling in 2008, where they will be performing again at this year's 'Voorkamer' festival. Their sound and lyrics is a mixture of African, Papiamento, Frysian, English, Dutch and French. This mix of languages, and World music, contributes to the unique sound that is Watervolk. The title, Watervolk is taken from a poem by the South African writer Carina Stander. Time is like a river of passing events. The water always flows different. It is a metaphor for the ever-changing nature of life.
The best Dutch World music ever.
- Holly Moors

'Watervolk' has got a lot of beautiful songs.
- Hessel Fluitman

Femke has got a expressive wonderful voice. It fits perfectly in Watervolk. 
- Assie Aukes

Because of the great singing the Frisian language is just as beautiful as the African. 
- Jacob Haagsma



Book for Watervolk by clicking this button:
Tue 8th Sep 7pm R90 (R80 online)

Obsessions of a Thought Reader

Magic • Running Time: 65 mins
Performed by Bryan Miles
Warning: Not recommended for under 12s
Bryan Miles has just returned from his tour across the USA which took him from Las Vegas to Hollywood –including performing at the world-famous Magic Castle in Los Angeles. His one-man show “Obsessions of a Thought Reader” sees Bryan sharing some of his unique obsessions with the audience. Bryan Miles is an ordinary person with extraordinary skills … whether it is extracting people’s inner most thoughts or controlling their behaviour – this show will keep you questioning the potential of the human mind! “I am obsessed with the human mind. Does Free Will exist? Are the thoughts and decisions we make truly our own? Every thought we have results in some kind of action – I don’t read minds, I read people.”



Book for Obsessions of a Thought Reader by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Wed 9th Sep 7pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 10th Sep 7pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 11th Sep 7pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 12th Sep 7pm R90 (R80 online)

Shenanigans

Drag • Running Time: 60 mins
Lilly Slaptsilli
Fresh from a colonic, drag star Lilly Slaptsilli celebrates an extended run of her hit solo show Shenanigans. She's hauling her heels upstairs along with lipstick, trilogy, tiaras, parody and pantyhose from the top drawer. Whether you’re an avid fan of drag shows or have yet to experience one, the hostess of humour with a licence to lip-sync will pull a cast of characters from her closet to delight, thrill and entertain you. Shenanigans is a glamorous evening of provocative and playful performances by Lilly Slaptsilli.



Book for Shenanigans by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Thu 10th Sep 9pm R140 (R120 online) Fri 11th Sep 9pm R140 (R120 online) Sat 12th Sep 9pm R140 (R120 online)

Gone Camping

Light Comedy • Running Time: 65 mins
Written & Performed by Jason Potgieter | Directed by Kim Kerfoot | Sound Design by Niklas Zimmer
Warning: Not recommended for under 16s
It's the 90's. The New South Africa is a toddler playing in the global sand pit with bucket and spade, building castles, making mud pies and learning to share her toys, while her now liberated people run through sprinkler-rainbows looking for pots of shiny gold. Ideas of change and social rebirth fly through the nation like a flock of drunk ducks looking for a decent Martini and while some would-be-pillow-stuffers run for their guns with one eye on the sky, others chuck breadcrumbs out on the lawn and keep the dog inside. Somewhere up the West Coast, on a camp site formerly known as Volmaansig, three white okes, a ghost called Polla and a Staffie with a bone to pick get chatty around the campfire. They remember, they theorise, they consider and they criticise, - but most of the time they just like to laugh and tell stories, because roasting marshies and having someone to talk to is a good way to pass the time and fend off the Worry.
Gone Camping is a fireside storybook brought to life by playwright and performer, Jason Potgieter. It is a new theatrical work and is based on events experienced by Potgieter in Cape Town, South Africa, between 1990 and 1996. Similar in style to his previous work, The Things You Left Behind, Potgieter has crafted five humorous monologues borne from his love of people-watching and performs characters from different social backgrounds, age-groups and even species, all brought together by a place where the struggles and worries of everyday life are discarded in favour of flimsy tents, mosquito repellent, midnight skinny dipping and the great outdoors.


Book for Gone Camping by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Mon 14th Sep 7pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 15th Sep 7pm R90 (R80 online)

Gender Bender

Drag-lesque: a Fusion of Burlesque, Drag and Boylesque! • Running Time: 60 mins
Black Orchid Burlesque
Warning: For mature audiences only!
Black Orchid Burlesque brings you a fun filled show jam-packed with Drag-lesque: a fusion of burlesque and drag king performances, speckled with just a hint of boylesque and cabaret.  Further Info: Every day is a masquerade here on stage with this motley crew of misfits, femme fatales and bawdy burlesquers. Let us help you get out of your comfort zone (or settle back into it) with some topsy turvy Gender Bender fun! 
Embrace your inner drag diva or king and join in the Gender Bender madness, we promise some splendid spot prizes on the night. 

Featuring special performances by:
 • Dear James • Sapphire Flex
 • St. Fox
 • Bon Bon
 • Honeybun Shortcake  
 • and introducing, Velveteen Noir  

With a special guest performance by:  
 • Lady Magnolia 



Book for Gender Bender by clicking this button:
Fri 18th Sep 9pm R150 (R120 online)

The New Abnormal

Afro-Jazz/Dance Performance • Running Time: 60 mins
Performed By Silas Miami | Supported by dancer, Nadine Adams | An event by Greenback Events
The New Abnormal is a live music performance by Kenyan born artist, Silas Miami. It is unique in that it is a very visual experience for the audience. It will include a mix of afro-jazz music and contemporary dance. Silas will perform his own original music and mix it up with a few heart-warming covers. The audience will also be treated to a cross-over of languages as Silas will switch between English and Swahili. 
Silas is a Kenyan born singer/songwriter who now resides in Cape Town. Before moving to Cape Town, Silas had built a rather strong following in his home country. He is now expanding his horizons and sharing his music with the rest of the world. His music is a mix of Afro-jazz and Afro-pop. He sings songs in English and Swahili. Silas writes songs about love, positivity and heartbreak. Silas has performed on various stages around the world. This includes his performance at Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) in 2015. HIFA is the biggest arts festival in Southern Africa. Other notable events that Silas has performed at include “Blankets and Wine” in Kenya.


Book for The New Abnormal by clicking this button:
Tue 22nd Sep 8pm R60 (R50 online)
Click here for a printable version of the programme. (ODT) (Print it out and give to your friends!)
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Today (Friday)

Josie Field Unplugged
Acoustic Soul
8pm


Tomorrow (Saturday)

The Underground Library
Play Reading - young adult script
8pm


This Monday

You Suck (and other inescapable truths)
Comedy
31 Aug 7pm

Brynn Live @ Alexander Bar
Alternative/Folk
31 Aug 9pm


This Tuesday

You Suck (and other inescapable truths)
Comedy
1 Sep 7pm


This Wednesday

You Suck (and other inescapable truths)
Comedy
2 Sep 7pm

OMG Quiz Night
Quiz
2 Sep 8pm


September

You Suck (and other inescapable truths)
Comedy
Thu 3 7pm
Fri 4 7pm
Sat 5 7pm

OMG Quiz Night
Quiz
Wed 9 8pm
Wed 16 8pm
Wed 23 8pm

The Plot hole
Stand-Up comedy
Thu 3 9pm
Fri 4 9pm
Sat 5 9pm

Watervolk
Live Music
Tue 8 7pm

Obsessions of a Thought Reader
Magic
Wed 9 7pm
Thu 10 7pm
Fri 11 7pm
Sat 12 7pm

Shenanigans
Drag
Thu 10 9pm
Fri 11 9pm
Sat 12 9pm

Gone Camping
Light Comedy
Mon 14 7pm
Tue 15 7pm

Gender Bender
Drag-lesque: a Fusion of Burlesque, Drag and Boylesque!
Fri 18 9pm

The New Abnormal
Afro-Jazz/Dance Performance
Tue 22 8pm


For enquiries please call 021.300.1652.
Browse past shows here