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.

The Epicene Butcher

Sto­ry­telling • Run­ning Time: 50 mins
Directed by John Tren­gove, writ­ten by Gwydion Beynon, star­ring Jemma Kahn & Dylan Esbach as ‘Chalk Girl’. Illus­tra­tions by Jemma Kahn, Car­los Amato & Gwydion Beynon

A cult hit across the globe, The Epicene Butcher and Other Sto­ries for Con­sent­ing Adults returns to Alexan­der Upstairs for a mere week before the team dis­ap­pear off to another exotic loca­tion. Come and see the deploy­ment of a 12th Cen­tury Japan­ese Bud­dhist story-telling tra­di­tion known as kamishibai to tell 7 star­tling pop sto­ries. The show is a mash-up of manga, sex, gothic hor­ror and main­stream pop­u­lar cul­ture using hand-drawn illus­tra­tions and lus­cious narration.

The Epicene Butcher has to date received:
A Sil­ver Ova­tion Award, NAF Gra­ham­stown 2012
Crit­ics’ Choice & Audi­ence Favourite, Fringe Ams­ter­dam 2012
Best New Script & Audi­ence Favourite, Musho! The­atre Fes­ti­val
**** The Her­ald (Edin­burgh Fringe)
**** The List (Edin­burgh Fringe)
**** Broad­way­baby
**** Broad­way World

Jemma Kahn is bril­liant. I came away with my mind slightly blown.’ Annie Lennox, who saw the show at Alexan­der Bar!

Jemma Kahn was selected as one of M&G’s Top 200 Young South Africans in 2013 and as one of AfriPOP’s Top 5 Women to Watch in SA Theatre.

Press & Reviews

Book now by click­ing this button:
Sat 1st Nov 7pm R120 (R100 online): Hurry! Only 1 ticket left!

Play Things — Knowvember

Open-mic per­for­mance, writ­ing, film & music • Run­ning Time: 70 mins
fea­tur­ing Kitty Fay, Nicholas Spag­no­letti, Matthew Black­man, Lyn­dall Cain, Khanya Masha­bela, Kat Alice Coet­zee, Shan­nyn Fourie, and maybe some more sur­prises…
Warn­ing: Run­ning time may vary
OK. I admit it, the ‘know’-vember thing didn’t really work out so well. As a title it’s pretty weak and to be frank I don’t really know why I did i — HANG ON I DID IT! I worked ‘know’ into the intro para­graph! FIST PUMP.

At Play Things I don’t really know what’s going to hap­pen (does that make it No-know-vember?) — it’s an open evening of per­form­ers, writ­ers, musi­cians, film­mak­ers and hooli­gans pre­sent­ing their work and experiments.

Book now by click­ing this button:
Mon 3rd Nov 8pm R30 (R20 online)

City­Var­sity Melo­drama One-Acts

Stu­dent Per­for­mance • Run­ning Time: 70 mins
Pre­sented by the City­Var­sity Act­ing Department
City­Var­sity Act­ing Depart­ment presents two one-act plays in the clas­sic style of a melo­drama. The stu­dents in the degree stream have spent the year con­cep­tu­al­iz­ing, writ­ing, rehears­ing, design­ing and direct­ing them­selves towards two sto­ries that deal with fam­ily, love and hon­our. Given the events of a depar­ture and an arrival, they have devel­oped pro­duc­tions where each char­ac­ter strug­gles with a sac­ri­fice to make life bet­ter for their fam­ily. These first steps towards mak­ing their own work are sure to take you on an emo­tional jour­ney.

Tick­ets include both plays.
Love and Lies in the new South Africa fol­lows the life of William Bernard who returns home to his wife after being away for 8 years. William soon finds out that things are not how he left them, nei­ther South Africa nor his lov­ing wife are the same. As he uncov­ers the secrets and lies in what used to be his house, he must decide if he’s going to stay or go. The story takes place in 1996 and 2014, as the choices of the past affect those of the future.
Writ­ten, devised and directed by the cast | Marie — Dan-Mari Viljoen | Eliz­a­beth Schoe­man — Anne­mie Jor­daan | Olivia Davids – Lobcke Hein | William Barnard – David Traub | Samuel Schoe­man — Kitso Selato

The Divide tells the story of wid­owed Gisela Müller’s strug­gle to keep both her­self and her daugh­ter alive on the less for­tu­nate side of divided Berlin. Gisela is a hard work­ing seam­stress in a Communist-controlled fac­tory in the East. Her daugh­ter, Hanna is a strong-minded, 16-year-old aged by the poverty and tragedy that sur­rounds her. When Gisela’s con­niv­ing boss, Anita offers her a bet­ter life in the West Gisela is faced with a deci­sion that could leave her life more divided than Berlin.
Writ­ten, devised and directed by the cast | Gisela Müller — Lizelle Bernardo | Hanna Müller — Genna Blair | Anita Becker — Inez Robertson

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Tue 4th Nov 7:30pm R50 Wed 5th Nov 7:30pm R50


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
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 now by click­ing this button:
Thu 6th Nov 7pm R90 (R80 online)

Last Rounds

Comedy-Drama • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Writ­ten & directed by Tara Not­cutt | Per­formed by Rebecca Makin-Taylor | Pre­sented by The Pink Couch
Warn­ing: There is smok­ing on stage.
Face­book Event
“Last Rounds”. The return.

It’s still 2am. The final bell for last orders has been rung. The Hope­less / Mod­ern Roman­tic sits in the dark bar, swill­ing her whiskey, watch­ing the door for him. She’s just a girl, sit­ting in a bar, wait­ing for a boy…

Back Upstairs after a sell out sea­son in May, “Last Rounds” is a bit­ing look at love, whiskey, and good music. Writ­ten and directed by Tara Not­cutt (The Three Lit­tle Pigs and …miskien) and fea­tur­ing the lovely Rebecca Makin-Taylor (Expec­tant, The King­mak­ers).

“so hon­est it’s raw” — Artsblog
“cap­ti­vat­ing the­atre … an intel­li­gent blend of satire and sen­ti­ment.”
- The Cape Argus ★★★★

”… as truth­ful as one can be with­out estrang­ing all friends, fam­ily, acquain­tances and for­mer lovers.”
- West­cape News

“Makin-Taylor por­trays the flawed 20-something Mod­ern Roman­tic to per­fec­tion”
- Your LMG

Rebecca grad­u­ated in 2011 from UCT, and has appeared in The Ver­bal­ists and The King­mak­ers, writ­ten and directed by Louis Viljoen, and Expec­tant, writ­ten and directed by Penny Youn­gle­son which trav­elled to Ams­ter­dam and the Mar­ket The­atre. Tired of men, and women, ask­ing her to give pri­vate nar­ra­tions of “50 Shades Of Grey” (a book she has yet read) Rebecca quit wait­ress­ing and now works as a voice coach and voice artist dub­bing Iran­ian sit­coms and films into Eng­lish.

Tara grad­u­ated from UCT in 2008 and has been work­ing hard, in the dark of many the­atres, ever since. She is a multi award-winning direc­tor, and has had plays per­form on three con­ti­nents (“…miskien”, “The Three Lit­tle Pigs” and “Illu­sive”). She likes long walks on the beach in the rain, and when she is not work­ing, she can be found shov­ing R2 coins into the juke­box at the Kim­ber­ley Hotel.

Press & Reviews

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Thu 6th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 7th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 8th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Mon 10th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 11th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 12th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 13th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 14th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 15th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online)

Some­thing Outrageous

The­atre Per­for­mance • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Writ­ten and per­formed by Wil­son Car­pen­ter & Bren­dan Mur­ray | Directed by Greg Karvel­las | Props/Effects: Juanita Fer­reira & Jim Rauben­heimer | Fight Chore­og­ra­phy by Alex AnLos
Warn­ing: There will be blood. Great movie, also applic­a­ble to the show.
What hap­pens when actors get bored? Some­thing Out­ra­geous. A show full of fun, fun and more fun. It is guar­an­teed to be one of the funnest the­atre expe­ri­ences of your life*!
With no punches pulled, expect an action packed show for every­one from peo­ple who enjoy mak­ing fun of Amer­i­can accents to attrac­tive women who find them sexy. It’s also about actors, act­ing and the fine art of wait­ing around doing noth­ing at all. Not rec­om­mended for any­one under 16.
*This is not a money-back guarantee.
Wil­son, an Amer­i­can Expat and Bren­dan, a mod­er­ately suc­cess­ful Capeton­ian actor/model/comedian, com­bine forces for the first time to cre­ate Some­thing Out­ra­geous. The idea came to them while road trip­ping across the beau­ti­ful con­ti­nen­tal United States of Amer­ica. They needed a plan to get Wil­son into the coun­try. And get a work visa. They didn’t know the where or the why, but they did know the how: Some­thing Out­ra­geous. A show that can­not pos­si­bly be described in less than 200 words so we are not even going to try. Expect sword­fights, tor­ture, span­dex, tod­dlers, sex­ual danc­ing and hilar­ity in gen­eral and particular.

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Fri 7th Nov 7pm R50 (R40 online) Sat 8th Nov 7pm R50 (R40 online)

The Open Couple

The­atre • Run­ning Time: 50 mins
Writ­ten by Dario Fo | Pro­duced & Directed by Christo­pher Weare | Light­ing by Luke Ellen­bo­gen | Cos­tume by Leigh Bishop | Per­formed by Lar­ica Schnell & Nathan Lynn | Foley artists Amelia Vernede & Ameera Conrad
The Open Cou­ple is a com­edy about sex­ual pol­i­tics in mar­riage. The play is cen­tred on an extended argu­ment between a hus­band who enjoys an array of part­ners and his wife who wants him for her­self. Despite reach­ing a mutual agree­ment about liv­ing in an open rela­tion­ship, they find them­selves faced with unex­pected com­pli­ca­tions when their pas­sion for each other re-emerges. When things blow up and the tables turn their mar­riage is left in a pre­car­i­ous conundrum.
“Nathan Lynn’s hus­band is a clas­sic Woody Allen-style under­dog Casanova.” — David Fick, Broad­way World
“Lar­ica Schnell cuts a styl­ish fig­ure as the wife.”- Cape Argus
“Anar­chic humour… Impec­ca­ble tim­ing and hilar­i­ous effect”- Cape Argus
The Open Cou­ple, under direc­tion of Christo­pher Weare, pre­miered at Nicholas Ellenbogen’s inti­mate Rose­bank The­atre in Cape Town in May 2014, as a double-bill with an Afrikaans adap­ta­tion of Anton Chekhov’s Die Buf­fel (The Bear) and was received with much pos­i­tive crit­i­cal acclaim.

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Mon 10th Nov 7pm R100 (R90 online) Tue 11th Nov 7pm R100 (R90 online) Wed 12th Nov 7pm R100 (R90 online) Mon 17th Nov 7pm R100 (R90 online) Tue 18th Nov 7pm R100 (R90 online) Wed 19th Nov 7pm R100 (R90 online) Thu 20th Nov 7pm R100 (R90 online) Fri 21st Nov 7pm R100 (R90 online) Sat 22nd Nov 7pm R100 (R90 online)


Drama • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Directed & Designed by Quintin Wils | Writ­ten & Per­formed by Jannes Eras­mus | Videog­ra­phy by Jaco Jansen van Rensburg
Smaar­ties is a pow­er­ful one-man show about Mr Lotz who finds him­self in a psy­chi­atric ward after the death of both of his par­ents. He still has a 12-year-old sis­ter he has to look after. The play looks at his daily life in the ward and how he is cop­ing and try­ing to word and explain what really hap­pened that night to him and his parents…
After a hugely suc­cess­ful run at the South African State The­atre ear­lier on in the year, Smaar­ties has been invited to play at var­i­ous other the­atres in South Africa, includ­ing the­atres in Rusten­burg, Pre­to­ria, Cen­tu­rion and Johan­nes­burg. Now the time has come for Cape Town to wit­ness this great pro­duc­tion.

It is directed and designed by the­atre direc­tor Quintin Wils, who says that Smaar­ties is by far the most com­plex show that he has ever directed, but adds that “…it is by far the most excit­ing pro­duc­tion that I have directed thus far! A pro­duc­tion that makes you think twice about what schiz­o­phre­nia actu­ally is.”

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Mon 17th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 18th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 19th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Mon 24th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 25th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 26th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 27th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 28th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 29th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online)

The Mr Cat & The Jackal Trio Show

Alter­na­tive Acoustic Folk • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Mr Cat & The Jackal are: Gert Besselsen — Gui­tar, Accor­dion, Bouzouki, Vocals Jacques du Plessis — Gui­tar, Saw, Lap Steel, Bouzouki, Vocals Pierre Arnold Theron — Per­cus­sion, Gui­tar, Back­ing Vocals
The Mr Cat & The Jackal Trio Show con­sists of the two song­writ­ers of MCATJ Gert Besselsen and Jacques du Plessis joined by per­cus­sion­ist Pierre Arnold Theron. The show takes you deeper to the core of their music, sculpted to accen­tu­ate all the sub­tle nuances. They play most of the old favorites like Wheres My Shoes and The Devil Always Wants To Dance as well as a cou­ple more toned down songs that you wont hear at their row­dier full band shows. This is a sit down and lis­ten show not to be missed!
The exper­i­men­tal acoustic folk piece band, Mr Cat and the Jackal, have just released their third album, “S3T.“
The third album has taken nearly 3 years to record, in 3 dif­fer­ent stu­dios, divided into 3 themes and titled with three let­ters: S2T. With this album: Loathe songs, mal­adies of regret and opuses of warn­ing are care­fully tex­tured with Mr Cat and the Jackal’s unusual brand of humour. 

S3T” has lit­er­ally cost a work­ing pan­creas, a car full of instru­ments, a house rob­bery and a drum­mer. And it’s worth it. Putting these obsta­cles aside, the band man­aged to col­lide with great suc­cess and for­tune, steer­ing Mr Cat and the Jackal into the direc­tion of win­ning an MK award, no signed to an inter­na­tional artist agency and embark­ing on a suc­cess­ful UK tour. All of these affairs assem­bled explain the mood incon­sis­tency of “S3T”. It’s dark, and yet beau­ti­ful. “S3T” encom­passes three themes: Love, Regret and Doom. There are absolutely no arti­fi­cial sounds to be found on this album, only an amal­ga­ma­tion of for­eign instru­ments — some of which are hand­crafted by Mr Cat & the Jackal them­selves. 

Hav­ing just sold out their album launch show at R150.00 a ticket, the band also per­formed per­formed a sun­downer slot on Oppikoppi’s main stage for 8000 peo­ple, which resulted in three full colour photo spreads with reviews in the Mail & Gau­r­dian, News24 and the Argus over and above the media atten­tion they received around the launch of their album already.

Mr Cat & the Jackal are cur­rently avail­able for full band and unplugged three piece per­for­mances, which allows them to be flex­i­ble and remain acces­si­ble in any venue that they per­form, no mat­ter how large or small.

Book now by click­ing this button:
Thu 27th Nov 7pm 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 (Sat­ur­day)

The Epicene Butcher

This Mon­day

Play Things — Knowvem­ber
Open-mic per­for­mance, writ­ing, film & music
3 Nov 8pm

This Tues­day

City­Var­sity Melo­drama One-Acts
Stu­dent Per­for­mance
4 Nov 7pm

This Wednes­day

City­Var­sity Melo­drama One-Acts
Stu­dent Per­for­mance
5 Nov 7pm

This Thurs­day

Sleight of Hand
6 Nov 7pm

Last Rounds
6 Nov 9pm


Last Rounds
Fri 7 9pm
Sat 8 9pm
Mon 10 9pm
Tue 11 9pm
Wed 12 9pm
Thu 13 9pm
Fri 14 9pm
Sat 15 9pm

Some­thing Out­ra­geous
The­atre Per­for­mance
Fri 7 7pm
Sat 8 7pm

The Open Cou­ple
Mon 10 7pm
Tue 11 7pm
Wed 12 7pm
Mon 17 7pm
Tue 18 7pm
Wed 19 7pm
Thu 20 7pm
Fri 21 7pm
Sat 22 7pm

Mon 17 9pm
Tue 18 9pm
Wed 19 9pm
Mon 24 9pm
Tue 25 9pm
Wed 26 9pm
Thu 27 9pm
Fri 28 9pm
Sat 29 9pm

The Mr Cat & The Jackal Trio Show
Alter­na­tive Acoustic Folk
Thu 27 7pm

For enquiries please call 021.300.1652.
Browse past shows here