Look­ing for things to do in Cape Town? Alexan­der Upstairs is a well-equipped 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.

A Cer­tain Lady

The­atre – Solo Per­for­mance • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Directed by Gre­gory Karvel­las | Per­formed by Emily Child | Based on the short sto­ries of Dorothy Parker with thanks to the NAACP for the use of Ms Parker’s work
Based on the short sto­ries of Amer­i­can lit­er­ary icon, Dorothy Parker, A Cer­tain Lady explores the heart of a woman in the 1920’s. Through five inter­wo­ven sto­ries, the play exam­ines a woman of wit liv­ing in the Jazz Age and her rela­tion­ships with men, whiskey and the waltz. Dry, dark and sar­cas­tic, A Cer­tain Lady says what we wish we could at a din­ner party and what we never should say on the tele­phone. Directed by Greg Karvel­las, the acclaimed direc­tor of Champ and The Fron­tiers­men, and per­formed by award-winning actress and mem­ber of The Mechan­i­cals Col­lec­tive, Emily Child, A Cer­tain Lady is an unsen­ti­men­tal, painfully funny and unro­man­tic look at romance, taxi rides and dis­obe­di­ent garters…


Emily Child grad­u­ated from the Uni­ver­sity of Cape Town in 2007 with a The­atre and Per­for­mance Degree, spe­cial­iz­ing in Act­ing.  Since then she has worked inde­pen­dently and as a proud mem­ber of acclaimed the­atre troupe The Mechan­i­cals, whose work has gar­nered her numer­ous Fleur Du Cap award nom­i­na­tions. Her recent work includes Shakespeare’s “LEAR” directed by Guy De Lancey,  CHAMP” by Louis Viljoen and directed by Greg Karvel­las which she per­formed at the Edin­burgh Fes­ti­val 2013, as well as Marc Camoletti’s  farce “Don’t Dress for Din­ner” directed by Steven Stead, which toured Johan­nes­burg and Cape Town. In Decem­ber 2013 Emily was part of LA based Zom­bie Joe’s Under­ground and Mechan­i­cals’ co-production  “Urban Death”, directed by Jana Wimer. On screen Emily can be seen in the online Mock­u­men­tary series pilot “Armed Response” which just won the best short film at the SHNIT Inter­na­tional Festival.

 Greg Karvel­las is a UCT alumni who stud­ied under Christo­pher Weare, Mark Fleish­man, Liz Mills and Geof­frey Hyland. Greg has worked as a direc­tor, pro­ducer, actor and pro­duc­tion man­ager in the­atre, film and tele­vi­sion for over ten years. He is the co-owner (with Louis Viljoen) of Dark Red Pro­duc­tions which has pro­duced the plays “The Abusers” (direc­tor), “The Bile Boys” (actor), “The Fron­tiers­men” (direc­tor) and “The Ver­bal­ists” (designer), as well as the fea­ture film “Cow­boy” (actor). Greg also directed the hit play “CHAMP”, which ran at Artscape, the Fugard The­atre, the National Arts Fes­ti­val in Gra­ham­stown, and at the Edin­burgh Fringe Fes­ti­val in 2013.



Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Fri 1st Aug 7pm R90 (R80 online): Hurry! Only 19 tick­ets left! Sat 2nd Aug 7pm R90 (R80 online): Hurry! Only 19 tick­ets left!

After Dark — a bur­lesque story

Bur­lesque The­atre Show • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Writ­ten & Directed by Sap­phire Supreme, St. Fox & Diva Dis­as­tar | Pro­duced by Black Orchid Bur­lesque | Star­ring: The Black Orchids, Diva Dis­as­tar, Miss B.have, Bon Bon & Dear James | Hosted by Tony Shine, our brave nar­ra­tor
Warn­ing: Mature audi­ences only — no under 18s please!
As the sun goes down, so do the inhi­bi­tions of our favourite Bur­lesque beau­ties!

Black Orchid Bur­lesque invites you to embark on a tale of mys­tery and intrigue with all the raz­zle and daz­zle of the the­atre. Think femme fatales wrapped up del­i­cately in glam­our, silk and stock­ings, using their weapons of mass dis­trac­tion to enter­tain and excite you!

We dare you to take a walk on the wild side… after all, the best things hap­pen After Dark!
Enjoy the opu­lence and arrest­ing sophis­ti­ca­tion of these beau­teous ladies of bur­lesque, as they play­fully tease and tit­il­late you. Fea­tur­ing every­thing from extrav­a­gant feather fan shows to giant feather boas, this show is packed full of classy cabaret acts. Join us as we cel­e­brate the golden age of vin­tage bur­lesque by pay­ing homage to the iconic props strate­gi­cally used to beguile and bewitch audi­ences across the decades.

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Fri 1st Aug 9pm: Sorry, sold out Fri 1st Aug 11pm R120 (R100 online): Hurry! Only 17 tick­ets left!

The Funeral: What The Silence Is For

The­atre / Drama • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Direc­tor Mpapa Simo Majola | Assis­tant direc­tor Modise Sek­gothe | Star­ring Billy Langa, Obak­eng Makhutle & Mpapa Simo Majola | Writ­ten by Modise Sek­gothe & Mpapa Simo Majola
Mbon­geni and Thomas find them­selves in a predica­ment after the death of their friend Eli­jah. They’re left with the task of han­dling every aspect of the funeral by them­selves but Eli­jah also left them with strange demands and instruc­tions.

Mix­ing the­atre tech­niques, poetry and music to cre­ate a unique per­for­mance style, The Funeral is a med­i­ta­tion on the chang­ing think­ing and tra­di­tions around death in South Africa.

‘’This young direc­tor is reach­ing for the stars’’, if you have not seen his play The Funeral I would prompt you waste no time and find out where they will be show­ing next. ­ — Dik­gang Dube, Daily Sun

The Funeral is the best poet­i­cal show I have seen so far, their beau­ti­ful poetry accom­pa­nied by grounded act­ing makes this epic body of work a must see. –Neil Cop­pen,­ Think Theatre

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Tue 5th Aug 7pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 6th Aug 7pm: Sorry, sold out Mon 11th Aug 7pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 12th Aug 7pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 13th Aug 7pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 14th Aug 7pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 15th Aug 7pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 16th Aug 3pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 16th Aug 7pm R90 (R80 online)

Tonight, You TUBE!

Screen­ing • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
The cool kids
Warn­ing: Con­tent may con­tain swear­ing and hashtags
You know that episode of Com­mu­nity where in Anthro­pol­ogy, they just sit in class and youtube funny videos?
Isn’t it like the best thing ever? (Yes, yes it is.)
So on Thurs­day night, we’re going to do that at Alexan­der Upstairs.
Except some cool kids are going to curate it. Intre­pid explor­ers of the inter­net, your guides to memes, remixes and amus­ing cats.
And guess what, ADMISSION IS FREE. Just book a ticket online or at the bar to make sure you have a seat (select pay later below).

Book now by click­ing this button:
Wed 6th Aug 8:30pm R0

I Could Go On

improv • Run­ning Time: 55 mins
Megan Fur­niss | Directed by Can­dice D’Arcy
Hot on the heels of her sold out suc­cess, Drive With Me, Megan Fur­niss takes to the Alexan­der stage again for three nights only to per­form a one-woman totally impro­vised show.

Risky, crazy, funny, weird and ter­ri­fy­ing. With noth­ing pre-planned except a short intro, Fur­niss will impro­vise for just under an hour using a few sug­ges­tions from the audi­ence. She invites you to come and take the risk with her.
Megan Fur­niss has been impro­vis­ing in front of audi­ences for well over 20 years and is well known as the founder of The­atre­S­ports in Cape Town. How­ever, this is the first time she will be mak­ing it all up as she goes along totally alone in a one woman, totally impro­vised show.

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Thu 7th Aug 7pm R80 (R70 online) Fri 8th Aug 7pm R80 (R70 online) Sat 9th Aug 7pm R80 (R70 online)

Carla Con­radie & Natasha Meister

Acoustic/Folk-Rock • Run­ning Time: 80 mins
Come join the inspir­ing Natasha Meis­ter (CAN) and Carla Con­radie (SA) as these songstresses promise a night of pas­sion, heart­felt lyrics and pure musi­cal genius in one of Cape Town’s most inti­mate and mag­i­cal venues: The Alexan­der Bar, Café & Theatre.

Book now by click­ing this button:
Sat 9th Aug 9pm R75 (R60 online)

The Mod­ern African

Satire • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Writ­ten & per­formed by Thoko Masikini
Would you be able to spot the African if they walked into a room? Prob­a­bly not! There have been many false assump­tions that have been cir­cu­lat­ing in recent years regard­ing who and what the African is. And now the time has come for the truth to emerge. A species unlike any other: this lec­ture sheds a light on the iden­tity of the African in the 21st cen­tury. Pre­pare to be enlightened.
Grow­ing up in Malawi and com­ing to South Africa to study Act­ing, the ques­tion as to whether I am an African has cir­cu­lated in my mind for many years. Yes I am black and yes I have lived my entire life on the African con­ti­nent but my heart doesn’t feel African. This show does not attempt to define what being African is but rather it cre­ates a space in which I as an artist can think out loud as to why it is I feel what I feel. And why it is I do what I do.

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Mon 11th Aug 9pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 12th Aug 9pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 13th Aug 9pm R90 (R80 online) Mon 18th Aug 8pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 19th Aug 8pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 20th Aug 8pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 21st Aug 8pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 22nd Aug 8pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 23rd Aug 8pm R90 (R80 online)

Vittorio’s Secret

Stand-Up Com­edy • Run­ning Time: 75 mins
Writ­ten, directed and per­formed by Vit­to­rio Leonardi
Warn­ing: Language
Vit­to­rio Leonardi has taken it upon him­self to reveal the immor­tal secret of rela­tion­ships… as soon as he finds a lady to tell him what it is.

After 15 years in stand-up com­edy, few of them know­ing the love of a woman, he has had plenty time to build up des­per­a­tion, lone­li­ness and depres­sion.

He’s also fix­ated on the rela­tion­ships between the sexes and won­ders why, on occa­sion, they tend to resem­ble the last moments of the Hin­den­berg.

Now, in his first one-man show, he turns his car­tooned, sur­real eye to the things luck­ier peo­ple take for granted.
The show is about rela­tion­ships, specif­i­cally my expe­ri­ences on the bat­tle­field of the heart and the sur­vivors tales I’ve been told.

It’s a per­sonal col­lec­tion of obser­va­tions that I want to share about what I’ve seen myself and many oth­ers do in an attempt to find some­one spe­cial — Miss Right and on occa­sion, Miss Right Now.

In the end, the mes­sage is that it’s OK for them to ask “Can we still be friends?” and that it’s per­fectly fine to respond with, “No thanks, I already have a dog.“

The Box Show Review — http://www.artlink.co.za/news_article.htm?contentID=35152

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Thu 14th Aug 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 15th Aug 9pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 16th Aug 9pm R90 (R80 online)

The King­mak­ers

Dark com­edy • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Writ­ten and Directed by Louis Viljoen | Designed by Greg Karvel­las | Per­formed by Pierre Mal­herbe, Bren­don Daniels and Rebecca Makin-Taylor
Warn­ing: Explicit language
The King­mak­ers fol­lows a group of opposition-party strate­gists as they attempt to place a neu­tral party mem­ber in con­tention for lead­er­ship. After an inter­nal power strug­gle leaves them out in the cold and on the fringes of the party, they come up with a plan to shape a seem­ingly ambition-less, but well-respected politi­cian into a leader. With the help of a ris­ing cor­po­ra­tion seek­ing polit­i­cal clout and pos­si­ble gov­ern­ment con­tracts, the stage is set for a mer­ci­less power grab and per­haps a chance at revenge.
This dark polit­i­cal com­edy is writ­ten and directed by Louis Viljoen, the award win­ning writer of the crit­i­cally acclaimed plays Champ and The Fron­tiers­men. It is set in the famil­iar world of skull­dug­gery, back­stab­bing, one-upmanship, dis­loy­alty, black­mail and prof­i­teer­ing, oth­er­wise known as South African pol­i­tics. Our three heroes spend their days mak­ing sure the sys­tem works for no one except the lucky few or the ones who can afford to do as they please. But after years of work­ing in the dark and the cold, finan­cially speak­ing, they con­spire to get some­thing for them­selves, whether it be gold or power. Never mind the body count.

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Mon 25th Aug 7pm R100 (R90 online) Tue 26th Aug 7pm R100 (R90 online) Tue 2nd Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Wed 3rd Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Thu 4th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Thu 4th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Fri 5th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Sat 6th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Mon 8th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Tue 9th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Wed 10th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Thu 11th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Fri 12th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Sat 13th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online)

Can­ciones Espanolas

Pop/Classical/Opera/Spanish • Run­ning Time: 65 mins
Directed by Zanne Stapel­berg |Per­formed by James Grace & Zanne Stapelberg
Zanne teams up with gui­tar vir­tu­oso James Grace for a riv­et­ing musi­cal expe­ri­ence in “Can­ciones en Espanolas” (Songs in Span­ish). Pop­u­lar and exotic clas­si­cal music are com­bined in con­tem­po­rary Span­ish songs to form a richly tex­tured tapes­try of sound.

Intense, play­ful, pas­sion­ate and mag­i­cal – “Can­ciones en Espanolas” con­sists of indige­nous Span­ish melodies by Enrique Grana­dos and Man­ual de Falla, as well as music by the Argen­tinean tango com­poser Astor Piaz­zolla.

There is also music from the sound­tracks of pop­u­lar movies “Frida” (Lila Downs) and “Don Juan de Marco“ (arrange­ment Bryan Adams), as well as  a new com­po­si­tion by Matthys van Dijk on a poem from Pablo Neruda’s “Book of Questions”.

By Jeff Bruk­man, Con­tribut­ing Edi­tor, Cue

Zanne Stapel­berg will mes­merise you, entice you, cajole you and ensnare you in her cap­ti­vat­ing recital of span­ish songs. Admirably sup­ported by gui­tarist James Grace, the com­plete Latin expe­ri­ence unfolds in a spec­ta­cle of fire, pas­sion, pathos and beguil­ing sen­si­tiv­ity.

ln a mag­nif­i­cenly exe­cuted open­ing, Grace’s truly fan­tas­tic gui­tar play­ing con­jures up images, sounds and smells of the Latin span­ish world. This is musi­cian­ship of another order, where the lis­tener is trans­ported to a fan­tasy world of won­der­ment and beauty.

Stapel­berg uses every pos­si­ble inflec­tion and fibre in her being to inter­pret a range of Span­ish songs with fan­tas­tic and allur­ing the­atri­cal­ity. This is not mere singing: it is drama ema­nat­ing right from the core of her sen­si­bil­i­ties.

From the fragility of Tonadil­las to the pas­sion­ately inspired Milonga from Maria de Buenos Aires, Stapel­berg takes the audi­ence on an emo­tional jour­ney which is invig­o­rat­ing and awe inspir­ing.

Mas alla del Arco is, arranged by Swellen­dam com­poser Braam du Toit, sees Stapel­berg tra­vers­ing intri­cately shaped melodic lines with a bewil­der­ing ease of accom­plish­ment.

Fablo Neruda, spe­cially com­mis­sioned by Stapel­berg from South African com­poser Matthjis ran Dijk, dis­plays her prawess as a sax­o­phon­ist, soprano and per­cus­sion­ist.

This rernark­able work, which skil­fully cap­tures the essence of the text and Span­ish flair is as much a part of the pro­gramme as those works com­posed by Piaz­zolla, Villa-Lobos and de Falla.

Stapelber“g and Grace’s ensem­ble is the cre­atire pir­rot around which this recital revolves; their sub­tle cor­m­mu­ni­ca­tion, artis­tic aware­ness and per­fect sense of dra­matic tim­ing allow song after song to become a liv­ing entity” This is espe­cialty appar­ent in the ten­derly eur­catire duet Quando la ames.

The zest with which Stapel­berg approaches this recital proves that she does not see her craft as a job or a call­ing * it is far more than that — her pas­sion for per­for­mance is the essen­tial ingre­di­ent in her lire. She remains one of
South Africa’s most pro­lif­i­cally tal­ented an engag­ing artist

Can­ciones Espanolas has been with­out a shadow of a doubt the high­light of my Fes­ti­ral 2009. Bravo! Bravo !!

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Fri 29th Aug 8pm R150 (R130 online) Sat 30th Aug 8pm R150 (R130 online)

Min­nie and John­son in Stand Up Cabaret

Cabaret and Com­edy • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Directed, per­formed and pre­sented by Emile Min­nie and God­frey Johnson
South African dar­lings of the cabaret stage, Emile Min­nie and God­frey John­son, will be join­ing forces and hands to bring you an evening of fun, humour and fab­u­lous songs.
Fleur du Cap win­ner God­frey John­son and SAMA award nom­i­nee Emile Min­nie will be per­form­ing rau­cous hits from the six­ties to the naugh­ties with just a piano, a clar­inet and a wine glass for per­cus­sion. Come and see these two cap­ti­vat­ing artists light up the stage with their humour and energy.
Songs include “Love is a stranger” by Eury­th­mics, “Hold­ing out for a hero” by Bon­nie Tyler and “Putting on the Ritz” by Irv­ing Berlin.
For that some­thing extra they will be doing African pop by the likes of The Click Song, as well as an Afrikaanse tre­f­fer or two.
Grab your hand­bag, your man purse or your moon­bag and make your way to the Min­nie and John­son show!
Leg­warm­ers optional.

“Bril­liantly, unashamedly self-aware and proud. This per­for­mance spans decades of music and gen­res, dip­ping into African pop and 1980s clas­sics, as well as fea­tur­ing Piaf and Brel. The hon­esty and joy in the per­for­mances on piano, clar­inet and vocals are astound­ing exam­ples of how the arts should be per­formed.”
Chelsea Haith, Gra­ham­stown Fes­ti­val Cue, June 2013.

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Thu 4th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 5th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 6th Sep 9pm 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)

A Cer­tain Lady
The­atre – Solo Per­for­mance

After Dark — a bur­lesque story
Bur­lesque The­atre Show
9pm 11pm

Tomor­row (Saturday)

A Cer­tain Lady
The­atre – Solo Per­for­mance

This Tues­day

The Funeral: What The Silence Is For
The­atre / Drama
5 Aug 7pm

This Wednes­day

The Funeral: What The Silence Is For
The­atre / Drama
6 Aug 7pm

Tonight, You TUBE!
6 Aug 8pm


The Funeral: What The Silence Is For
The­atre / Drama
Mon 11 7pm
Tue 12 7pm
Wed 13 7pm
Thu 14 7pm
Fri 15 7pm
Sat 16 3pm 7pm

I Could Go On
Thu 7 7pm
Fri 8 7pm
Sat 9 7pm

Carla Con­radie & Natasha Meis­ter
Sat 9 9pm

The Mod­ern African
Mon 11 9pm
Tue 12 9pm
Wed 13 9pm
Mon 18 8pm
Tue 19 8pm
Wed 20 8pm
Thu 21 8pm
Fri 22 8pm
Sat 23 8pm

Vittorio’s Secret
Stand-Up Com­edy
Thu 14 9pm
Fri 15 9pm
Sat 16 9pm

The King­mak­ers
Dark com­edy
Mon 25 7pm
Tue 26 7pm

Can­ciones Espanolas
Fri 29 8pm
Sat 30 8pm


The King­mak­ers
Dark com­edy
Tue 2 7pm
Wed 3 7pm
Thu 4 7pm 7pm
Fri 5 7pm
Sat 6 7pm
Mon 8 7pm
Tue 9 7pm
Wed 10 7pm
Thu 11 7pm
Fri 12 7pm
Sat 13 7pm

Min­nie and John­son in Stand Up Cabaret
Cabaret and Com­edy
Thu 4 9pm
Fri 5 9pm
Sat 6 9pm

For enquiries please call 021.300.1652.
Browse past shows here