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.

Body Language II: the Mating Game

Comedy • Running Time: 55 mins
Performed & written by Gaëtan Schmid | directed by Lara Bye | sound design James Webb
After ‘Body Language’ SOLD OUT 5 years ago, Gaëtan Schmid is back with more fascinating revelations in this high octane physical comedy. A journey spanning 400˙000 years of human evolution, exploring our (sometimes very confusing) mating rituals and hidden non-verbal messaging. A must see for the sake of the survival of our species!

Press for Body Language:

 “solo tour de force”

“Strange … psychotic energy”

“Hilarious rollercoaster ride”

“Gaëtan Schmid at his rolling marvellous crazy best”

“Masterful”
Gaëtan is a Belgian theatre artist currently living and working in South Africa.

After studying theatre at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France he toured exciting new creations to festivals and theatres all over the world. Russia, Sweden, Romania, USA, Belgium, The Netherlands, England, Wales, Uganda, Andorra, Spain and Scotland.

Since arriving in South Africa 15 years ago – his South African wife (not wife then) told him to “come … come and have a look … couple of weeks max …” – Gaëtan produces, creates, writes and performs his own excitingly original one-man-shows … well, most of them are his own: The Belgian, Body Language, Rumpsteak (Fleur du Cap nominated), The Dog’s Bollocks, The Incredible Beer Show, the pigeon and The Comical Tragedy. The first 2 and latter 2 were directed by his extraordinary wife Lara Bye (London Road, The Flying Dutchman, Rainbow Scars, Yellow Man), mother of their son Matteo (11) – Minecraft specialist.


Book for Body Language II: the Mating Game by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Mon 20th Apr 7pm R80 (R70 online) Tue 21st Apr 7pm R80 (R70 online) Wed 22nd Apr 7pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 23rd Apr 7pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 24th Apr 7pm R100 (R90 online) Sat 25th Apr 7pm R90 (R80 online)

A Woman Alone

Drama • Running Time: 65 mins
Written by Dario Fo & Franca Rame | Translated by Gillian Hanna | Directed by Michael Kirch | Performed by Anna Kurgan
Facebook Event
Entropy imploding. A woman hit by fifty shades of blue. A goldfish in a bowl. The hamster on its wheel. Going round and round and round.
Therein hangs a chased tail.

A Woman Alone by Dario Fo and Franca Rame takes a wry look at a repressed, disempowered housewife killing time while adrift in timeless issues. As Rame said, "I draw on problems that women have within society at large. The most important thing that I would wish to see... is respect for women everywhere: at home, in the street, in the family and in bed." The play, post-feminism, introduces a woman unhinged by patriarchal clamour, unable to turn down its noise. A disturbed woman. An abused woman. A woman alone.




Book for A Woman Alone by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Mon 20th Apr 9pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 21st Apr 9pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 22nd Apr 9pm R90 (R80 online) Mon 27th Apr 9pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 28th Apr 9pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 29th Apr 9pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 30th Apr 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 1st May 9pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 2nd May 9pm R90 (R80 online)

Dirty Words

Sketch Comedy • Running Time: 55 mins
Performed by Alicia McCormick & Dylan Esbach | created by Jon Keevy
Warning: Contains all the dirty words | no under 18s
Dirty Words was born in the fast and loose crucible that is Alexander Upstairs' own monthly experimental platform, Play Things. Immediately it became a cult sensation. Filthy, Explicit and incredibly funny… Dirty Words pulls back the covers on erotica, chat sex, dirty talk and naughty sexy grammar. In seven sketches Alicia and Dylan turn up the raunch, slipping in sexy tongue twisters and burlesque shenanigans.

Warning: contains all the dirty words and also some almost nudity.

Press & Reviews




Book for Dirty Words by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Thu 23rd Apr 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 24th Apr 9pm R120 (R100 online)

The Woman with a Baby on her Back

Drama • Running Time: 65 mins
Written by Athol Fugard | Performed by Pieter van Zyl | Directed by Thomas Leabhart
This adaptation of Athol Fugard's riveting short story  'To whom it must concern' portrays the impact a tragic event has on the life and psyche of a Karoo train driver, Roelf Visagie. During the hour long one man play, Roelf and other characters share with the audience their unique perceptions of the same incident. The play is presented in a simple manner, and deals with universal issues of humanity.

'The woman with a baby on her back' is the result of a collaboration between Pieter van Zyl (actor) and Prof Thomas Leabhart, director and senior professor in drama at the Pomona College in Claremont, California. The play was given its first performances at the Seaver Theater in California, where it was received with much praise and acclaim. The performances at the Alexander Theatre mark the South African premiere of the play.
Athol Fugard is one of South Africa's most esteemed playwrights. He is best known for his political plays opposing apartheid and for the 2005 Academy Award-winning film of his novel Tsotsi. The recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, he is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Pieter van Zyl (actor) has studied acting at the Akademie van Dramakuns in Cape Town and then continued his theatre studies in London, Paris and California, specializing in the corporeal mime technique of Etienne Decroux. In London, as a member of Theatre de l'Ange Fou, he performed in 'Entangled Lives' (Tardieux) and 'The Government Inspector' (Gogol); and in California in 'Spoonriver Anthology' (Masters) and 'Maid To Marry' (Ionesco). In South Africa he created four plays that were much influenced by his study of corporeal mime: 'On a green footpath'; 'BREAD'; 'When the saints go marching'; 'Early Works - a love story'.  For the Spier production of 'The Great Gatsby', directed by Peter Joucla, he played the character of Wilson. Pieter's voice is regularly heard in plays and readings on RSG. He has a master's degree in music and also works as a musician.

Thomas Leabhart (director) is Professor of Theatre and Resident Artist at the Pomona College in Claremont, California. He frequently teaches and performs in Europe, Asia and South America and is a member of ISTA (International School of Theatre Anthropology) Artistic Staff. His specific areas of scholarship is Etienne Decroux, with whom he studied from 1968 - 1972. Thomas Leabhart is the most published writer on the subject of corporeal.


Book for The Woman with a Baby on her Back by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Mon 27th Apr 7pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 28th Apr 7pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 29th Apr 7pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 5th May 7pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 6th May 7pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 7th May 7pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 8th May 7pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 9th May 7pm R90 (R80 online)

Spiritrials

Hip-Hop/Perfromance Art • Running Time: 60 mins
Directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph & Sean San Jose | Written & Performed by Dahlak Brathwaite | Presented by Joan Osato & Kyla Smith of The Shortened Tongue
Warning: Adult content & adult language
In Spiritrials, addiction, religion, and the law intersect in a government funded drug rehabilitation program. A timely exploration of the American criminal justice system, this multidimensional play blurs the lines between hip-hop and dramatic performance.  Dahlak Brathwaite weaves through the autobiographical and the fictional, music and monologue, to examine his place in what appears to be a cultural rite of passage for Black Americans.



Spiritrials is made possible through the Zellerbach Family Foundation, Columbia Foundation and Ictus; a fiscally sponsored project of Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco. Youth Speaks/The Living Word Project is a NPN Partner for the National Performance Network (NPN). This project is made possible in part by the support from the NPN Creation Fund, NPN Forth Fund and the NPN Performance Residency Program. Major Contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts (A Federal Principal development support was provided by Painted Bride Arts Center (PA), Ithaca College (NY), Sonoma State University, and the Montalvo Art Center (Saratoga, CA).



Book for Spiritrials by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Fri 1st May 7pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 2nd May 7pm R90 (R80 online)

When We Were Nearly Young

Storytelling • Running Time: 60 mins
Written & Performed by Lebogang Mogashoa
Lebogang tells hilarious stories. He survived North Korean bomb threats. He’s the one to call when you need help recovering from secret jaw-shaving cosmetic surgery. He knows which celebrity endorsed (urgh, Gwyneth) detox diet causes Martha Stewart hallucinations. And he knows what it's like to live inside a political campaign. Bring friends and all of your emotions to this show.
In When We Were Nearly Young, Lebogang Mogashoa tells real stories from his life with humour and candor. These are tales often shared among friends after a really good meal. They are personal and leave you feeling less alone in the world.
This time around Lebogang shares hilarious and poignant stories about helping a friend hide from her family while recovering from secret plastic surgery, the highs and lows of his mother’s political campaign, a carefully planned but disastrous first kiss, an unexpected religious conversion and living close next-door to North Korea for five years.
When We Were Nearly Young is modelled after storytelling shows like This American Life, The Moth and RISK!


Book for When We Were Nearly Young by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Tue 5th May 9pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 6th May 9pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 7th May 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 8th May 9pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 9th May 9pm R90 (R80 online) Mon 11th May 9pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 12th May 9pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 13th May 9pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 14th May 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 15th May 9pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 16th May 9pm R90 (R80 online)

Devilish

Sleight of Hand • Running Time: 60 mins
Performed by Stuart Lightbody | Written by Stuart Lightbody & Tara Notcutt | Directed by Tara Notcutt
Warning: May blow your mind
Just back from Fringe World Perth where "Devilish" was nominated for the Theatre Award!

They say that the greatest trick that the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn’t exist. Well, Stuart Lightbody remains unconvinced.

From the creators of the Illusive, which won a Standard Bank Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown and the Creative Award at the Prague Fringe Festival comes a diabolical mix of sleight of hand artistry and psychological illusion filled with secrets and confessions. Whether you’ve danced with the devil in the pale moonlight, or just want to flirt with something wicked, come and take a seat with Stuart Lightbody: he has a story to tell…
“Stuart Lightbody [is a] sleight of hand extraordinaire” – Cape Argus (2009)

“Stuart Lightbody is a well spoken affable young man, lucky to be alive in the 21st century – otherwise he’d be burned as a witch.” - Adelaide Advertiser (2013)

“Every part of the performance is breathtaking and so elegantly executed you find yourself, if only for a moment, believing in magic.” – Cape Times (2013)

“…everyone he invites up onto the stage becomes part of a quite amazing disruption of everyday belief” – Adelaide Advertiser (2013)

“… he replaces normal human gullibility with an awestruck sense that what you have seen has to be magic” – Adelaide Advertiser (2013)

“Sleight-of-hand gets a shot of elegant theatricality courtesy of performer Stuart Lightbody…” – Cape Argus (2013)

“…beautifully impossible while still being impossibly beautiful.” – Cape Argus (2013)

“… an unreal experience that relies on pure artistry to entertain.” – Cape Argus (2013)


Book for Devilish by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Mon 8th Jun 9pm R100 (R80 online) Tue 9th Jun 9pm R100 (R80 online) Wed 10th Jun 9pm R100 (R80 online) Thu 11th Jun 9pm R100 (R80 online) Fri 12th Jun 9pm R120 (R90 online) Sat 13th Jun 9pm R110 (R90 online)
Click here for a printable version of the programme. (ODT) (Print it out and give to your friends!)
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Tomorrow (Monday)

Body Language II: the Mating Game
Comedy
7pm

A Woman Alone
Drama
9pm


This Tuesday

Body Language II: the Mating Game
Comedy
21 Apr 7pm

A Woman Alone
Drama
21 Apr 9pm


This Wednesday

Body Language II: the Mating Game
Comedy
22 Apr 7pm

A Woman Alone
Drama
22 Apr 9pm


This Thursday

Body Language II: the Mating Game
Comedy
23 Apr 7pm

Dirty Words
Sketch Comedy
23 Apr 9pm


This Friday

Body Language II: the Mating Game
Comedy
24 Apr 7pm

Dirty Words
Sketch Comedy
24 Apr 9pm


April

Body Language II: the Mating Game
Comedy
Sat 25 7pm

A Woman Alone
Drama
Mon 27 9pm
Tue 28 9pm
Wed 29 9pm
Thu 30 9pm

The Woman with a Baby on her Back
Drama
Mon 27 7pm
Tue 28 7pm
Wed 29 7pm


May

A Woman Alone
Drama
Fri 1 9pm
Sat 2 9pm

The Woman with a Baby on her Back
Drama
Tue 5 7pm
Wed 6 7pm
Thu 7 7pm
Fri 8 7pm
Sat 9 7pm

Spiritrials
Hip-Hop/Perfromance Art
Fri 1 7pm
Sat 2 7pm

When We Were Nearly Young
Storytelling
Tue 5 9pm
Wed 6 9pm
Thu 7 9pm
Fri 8 9pm
Sat 9 9pm
Mon 11 9pm
Tue 12 9pm
Wed 13 9pm
Thu 14 9pm
Fri 15 9pm
Sat 16 9pm


June

Devilish
Sleight of Hand
Mon 8 9pm
Tue 9 9pm
Wed 10 9pm
Thu 11 9pm
Fri 12 9pm
Sat 13 9pm


For enquiries please call 021.300.1652.
Browse past shows here