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.

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:
Fri 4th Sep 7pm R80 (R70 online): Hurry! Only 10 tickets left! Sat 5th Sep 7pm R80 (R70 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:
Fri 4th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online): Hurry! Only 14 tickets left! Sat 5th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online): Hurry! Only 5 tickets left!

Play Things

Open-mic performance, writing, film & music • Running Time: 70 mins
Featuring Hezron Chetty, Sive Gubangxa, Danieyella Rodin, Keegan van Zyl, Skye Russel and others
Warning: Running time may vary wildly
Surprises. The unexpected. The unforeseen. If these words fill you with dread then Play Things is not for you. Play Things is a platform for the odd, the eclectic, the unpredictable. It's an open-mic night of multiple genres and styles... we have poetry and comedy, drama and dancing, film and shenanigans. What will you see this time?

I don't know, we'll find out together on Monday

Meanwhile downstairs it's  SINGLE MALT MONDAY - all single malts are R30 a tot!
To be involved with Play Things please get in touch via our Facebook page.

Book for Play Things by clicking this button:
Mon 7th Sep 8pm R30 (R20 online)


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)


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): Hurry! Only 17 tickets left! 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) Wed 16th Sep 7pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 17th Sep 7pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 18th Sep 7pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 19th 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)

Henry and the Sand

Drama • Running Time: 60 mins
Directed by Graeme Bunce | Performed by Scot Cooper | Presented by Slick 'n Sleeve Productions | Produced by Justin Wilkinson
Henry and the Sand is a one man play that stars Scot Cooper as Henry, the last man left on earth. His world is now sand... Literally, the earth is now a desert. A post apocalyptic drama set in Southern Africa. Henry and the Sand (Previously 'The Loner') premiered at the National Arts Festival this year to great reviews for Scot Cooper's performance.
Scot Cooper previously performed in the highly acclaimed American play Tape at Alexander Upstairs to sold out audiences, and great reviews. Scot Cooper who co starred in the finale of Homeland season 4, also is the lead in the South African movie Reconnect being released in cinemas countrywide October 16th this year. And in the movie Girl From Nowhere released in 2016.

"The acting is superb." - Cue

"... he gives a fantastic, and affecting performance." - Cue

Book for Henry and the Sand by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Thu 8th Oct 7pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 9th Oct 7pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 10th Oct 7pm R90 (R80 online)

The Ruse - Coal Album Launch

Ethereal Dark Rock • Running Time: 60 mins
Vera Vukovic - Guitar, Lute, Violin & Backing Vocals | Cathy Davy - Vocals & Violin | Linda Scarborough - Keyboard & Backing Vocals | Helen Westcott - Bass & Backing Vocals | Ross Campbell - Drums
Coal perform lullabies to soothe any heartache. Their dark and ethereal soundscapes are immersive and rich with strains of loss, fleeting moments, deceit, distance and, sometimes, love. Their much anticipated album "The Ruse" will be available for purchase on the night.  The evening also marks the final show for this very unique band. See Coal for the very last time on this special night where they perform their own songs, as well as a selection of songs by bands that have inspired them over the years.

Book for The Ruse - Coal Album Launch by clicking this button:
Fri 16th Oct 8pm R90 (R80 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)

You Suck (and other inescapable truths)

The Plot hole
Stand-Up comedy

Tomorrow (Saturday)

You Suck (and other inescapable truths)

The Plot hole
Stand-Up comedy

This Monday

Play Things
Open-mic performance, writing, film & music
7 Sep 8pm

This Tuesday

Live Music
8 Sep 7pm

This Wednesday

Obsessions of a Thought Reader
9 Sep 7pm

OMG Quiz Night
9 Sep 8pm


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

OMG Quiz Night
Wed 16 8pm
Wed 23 8pm

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

Gone Camping
Light Comedy
Mon 14 7pm
Tue 15 7pm
Wed 16 7pm
Thu 17 7pm
Fri 18 7pm
Sat 19 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


Henry and the Sand
Thu 8 7pm
Fri 9 7pm
Sat 10 7pm

The Ruse - Coal Album Launch
Ethereal Dark Rock
Fri 16 8pm

For enquiries please call 021.300.1652.
Browse past shows here