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 7 Obsessions

Performance • Running Time: 80 mins
Created by David Traub | Annemie Jordaan | Dan-Mari Viljoen | Inez Robertson | Lobcke Hein | Genna Blair | Lizelle Bernardo
Warning: Interval | 16+
CityVarsity hosts the inaugural 3rd year Degree Solo Project festival. The 7 Obsessions is an original programme, crafted by CityVarsity’s senior Acting students, which challenges them to write, direct, produce and perform their own solo theatrical pieces.  Encompassing multiple cultures, languages and social perspectives, each of the seven pieces grapples with a range of issues relevant to South African youth. The subject matter of the pieces ranges from pop culture to concealing depression and distress. Audiences will be entertained throughout the evening as the soon-to-be professional actors and artists reveal their obsessions.
The CityVarsity Acting Department Degree students are trained in both live and camera performance as well as the writing of scripts, directing, devising and marketing of productions. The performances are multidisciplinary, incorporating of dance, poetry, spoken word, music and visual media. With guidance from their lecturers Genna Gardini, Jayne Batzofin and Sanjin Muftic, the students are eager to seize this opportunity and put their years of learning to work on stage in The 7 Obsessions.  

Shows include Unnatural Animals by David Traub (One young man’s frustration as he struggles against his human nature); T(ill) Y(ou) D(ie) by Dan-Marie Viljoen (A girl tries to escape the spell no one can seem to get away from, and if you do, it will be too late); Bedtime Stories by Annemie Jordan (A girl is possessed by her favourite fantasy monsters, who are desperate to tell their side of the story); Bitten by Lobcke Hein (A young girl's obsession with vampire fandom leads to an unhealthy obsession with creatures of the night); Truth Be Told by Genna Blair (Follow one woman in this moment by moment account of living with depression and desperately trying to hide it); Punk is Not Dead and Neither Am I by Lizelle Bernardo (A journey from childhood to adulthood in the life of a girl who has always relied on punk rock music to be there for her and see her through tough times); i: by Inez Robertson (A young woman takes a deeper look at herself through the eyes of the person she wants the world to see her as in this exploration of self-image).

Book for The 7 Obsessions by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Tue 13th Oct 7pm R50 (R40 online) Wed 14th Oct 7pm R50 (R40 online)

Nicky Schrire (featuring Ariella Caira & Barry van Zyl)

Singer - Songwriter / Pop • Running Time: 60 mins
Nicky Schrire is an award-winning vocalist and composer. She has performed in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Dublin and South Africa with musicians ranging from Sibongile Khumalo and Arno Carstens, to Grammy-nominated pianists Gerald Clayton and Gil Goldstein. Compared to songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Tori Amos, she has performed extensively with cellist and founding member of Sterling EQ, Ariella Caira. Recent highlights for the duo include the 2015 Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival, and a double-bill with Beatenberg frontman Matthew Field. They are thrilled to be joined for this performance by longtime Johnny Clegg drummer, Barry van Zyl.

“A number of the more and most intelligent female vocalists come to mind-Mia Doi Todd, Tori Amos, Kimiko Itoh, Lorraine Feather, Norma Winstone, Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, etc. - in Schrire's work.” — FAME (USA)
"Wonderful....an acute eye for observation of the small details." — Alex Gallagher, Folk Radio (UK)
“A remarkable talent... Her voice is a bell, a curve of pliant sound, a personality, a vessel for great songs. ” — PopMatters (USA)

Book for Nicky Schrire (featuring Ariella Caira & Barry van Zyl) by clicking this button:
Thu 15th Oct 7pm R90 (R80 online): Hurry! Only 3 tickets left!

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 the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Fri 16th Oct 8pm: Sorry, sold out Sat 17th Oct 8pm: Sorry, sold out

Penny In The Well

Fiction Writing Course • Running Time: 120 mins
Researched & presented by David Cornwell
David Cornwell
Please note booking for this show is through David Cornwell and therefore Florin points and discounts do not apply.
 An 8-week fiction course offered by Umuzi author David Cornwell, providing a solid introduction to the methods and techniques involved in creating original fiction. Includes weekly lessons, guided writing exercises and detailed feedback on all work produced during the course.

With a strong practical focus, this fiction course aims to provide a solid theoretical grounding in the processes of narrative, while also introducing students to various fictional techniques that will add weight and colour to their writing. Wherever possible, these techniques are illustrated by close reference to exemplary passages from modern fictional texts.

Whether you need help in telling your story — or whether you’d like to build confidence in your style — PENNY IN THE WELL will give you the tools you need to create meaningful, professional creative writing.
David Cornwell was born in Grahamstown in 1985. Now he lives in Salt River, where he writes novels, makes films and plays guitar for rock outfit KRAAL. His debut novel, Like It Matters  will be published by Umuzi in April 2016. His writing has appeared in numerous local and overseas publications, such as The Mail & Guardian, The Chiron Review, Prufrock, and Quiddity International Literary Journal.

Book for Penny In The Well by clicking this button:
Sat 17th Oct 11am R2500

As Alles Blou Is

Drama • Running Time: 45 mins
Directed and co-written by Franciska Haasbroek | Written by Henry Doyle | Performed by Almar Muller and Kika Smit
Facebook Event
Daar is twee wolwe binne elke mense. Een is goed en vol liefde, die ander een is donker en vol wantroue. Watter een oorheers jou? Die een wat jou voed’. Van Wyk en Elaine is nog nie lank getroud nie, maar daar heers is `n ewil in hul huwelik. Hul aksies van die verlede maak vir Van Wyk verbittered en vinnig word hy `n teiken van huishoudelike mishandeling. Watter wolf gaan elkeen van hulle voed?

There are two wolves within each person. One is good and full of love, while the other is filled with darkness and mistrust. Which one governs you? The one that feeds you. Van Wyk and Elaine have not been married for very long, but their is an evil in their marriage. Their past actions cause Van Wyk to be bitter and soon he becomes the target for domestic abuse. Which wolf will feed them?
'Dit gee 'n intieme blik op twee brose en gebroke mense se lewens, en albei akterus het hul kneusplekke innig met die gehoor gedeel'

- Herman Lategan

Book for As Alles Blou Is by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Mon 19th Oct 6pm R80 (R70 online) Tue 20th Oct 6pm R80 (R70 online) Wed 21st Oct 6pm R80 (R70 online) Thu 22nd Oct 6pm R80 (R70 online) Fri 23rd Oct 6pm R80 (R70 online) Sat 24th Oct 6pm R80 (R70 online)

Kinders van die wind

Drama • Running Time: 55 mins
Written and Directed by Terence Makapan | Performed by Terence Makapan and Retief Rye
Twee jong vreemdelinge ontmoet een oggend onder die brug by die Gardens Centre. Die een is uit geskop en die ander een het weg gehardloop van die huis af. Een is wit en een is bruin. Alhoewel hulle van verskillende agtergronde kom, is daar soveel wat hulle eintelik in gemeen het. “Van swerwers sonder rigting, van soekers wat nooit vind en eindelik was almal net kinders van die wind.”

Book for Kinders van die wind by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Mon 19th Oct 8pm R80 (R70 online) Tue 20th Oct 8pm R80 (R70 online) Wed 21st Oct 8pm R80 (R70 online) Thu 22nd Oct 8pm R80 (R70 online) Fri 23rd Oct 8pm R80 (R70 online) Sat 24th Oct 8pm R80 (R70 online)

Naked Girls Reading Cape Town presents the Halloween Show

Live reading • Running Time: 75 mins
Produced by Kelly Smith | Performed by Black Soda, Charlie French, Comedia Wilde & Miss Jade
Warning: Nudity | No under 18s | There is an interval included in the running time.
Facebook Event
Naked Girls Read­ing is a nude lit­er­ary salon that takes place in 25 cities around the world and on five dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents. At each event, a small cast of beau­ti­ful ladies removes their cloth­ing (yes, all of it) and reads per­sonal selec­tions to an ador­ing audi­ence. It is enter­tain­ing, mag­i­cal, often funny, some­times heart wrench­ing and really very sexy.

Are the girls really naked? Yes, we are.

Is the audi­ence naked?
No, they are not.

There’s some­thing beau­ti­ful, some­thing alto­gether more inti­mate, about a woman read­ing in the nude. It’s just that sim­ple.

Come and delight in the read­ings shared by the ghoul­ish Black Soda, Charlie French, Comedia Wilde and Miss Jade as they read chill­ing tales of ter­ror - if you dare!

Book for Naked Girls Reading Cape Town presents the Halloween Show by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Wed 28th Oct 9pm R160 (R130 online) Thu 29th Oct 9pm R160 (R130 online)

The Maids by Jean Genet

Drama • Running Time: 75 mins
Presented by Wessel Pretorius | Directed by Philip Rademeyer | Performed by Wessel Pretorius, David Viviers & Melissa Haiden | Design by Philip Rademeyer & Stefan Benade | Lighting Design and Stage managed by Stefan Benade |
Warning: No under 16s
“Do you remember? Under the tree, just the two of us? Our feet in the sun? Solange?”

Jean Genet’s classic text is brought to life in this intimate, seductive, contemporary staging. Two sisters and maids, two lowly outcasts (Pretorius and Viviers), perform a daily sacred ceremony in which they turn the tables on their Madame (Haiden) in an attempt to become human again. They are the monstrous soul of servantdom, she the seemingly unattainable everything. A sudden change of events forces them to take their ceremony further than they ever have before…

Philip Rademeyer is a writer and director, and co-founder of the award-winning theatre collective, Rust Co-Operative. He has written, co-written and directed six productions for Rust Co-Operative, including The View (Oscar Wilde Award for Best New Writing and Doric Wilson Intercultural Dialogue Award at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2013,  nominated for the Rosalie van der Gucht Prize for New Directors 2013, nominated for Best Production at Aardklop 2013, published through Junkets Publishers); Siembamba (Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award at 2014 NAF, selected for 2014 Amsterdam Fringe Festival); and Ashes (Standard Bank Ovation Award at 2015 NAF). He has also directed In the Wings (Standard Bank Ovation Award at 2015 NAF, produced by Chaeli Campaign). He holds a Masters in Theatre & Performance (Directing) from the University of Cape Town, where he lectures part-time.

Wessel Pretorius was born in 1986 and grew up in Nelspruit. He obtained his B.A. Drama degree at The University of Pretoria and his Honours in Acting at The University of Stellenbosch.  In 2010, he represented the Stellenbosch Drama Department in Den Haag doing a six week workshop with De Appel.  He made his professional debut later that year at Aardklop with Korte Mette Met die Versamelde Werke Van William Shakespeare directed by Hugo Theart for TEATERteater. Other highlights include Yasmina Reza’s Art (directed by Marthinus Basson) Christiaan Olwagen’s ‘Politik Trilogie’: Woza Andries?, Vagina Dentata and Ubu and the Secrecy Bill, P.G. du Plessis’ ‘n Seder val in Waterkloof (directed by Albert Maritz), N is vir Neurose (Olwagen), his self-penned solo show Ont-, Boetie Dis Tyd Vir Bid As ‘n Seekoeikoei Op Jou Skoot Kom Sit for the Klein Libertas Teater directed by Juanita Swanepoel, David Greig’s Die Monster In Die Gang (translated and directed by Hennie van Greunen), Saartjie Botha’s Balbesit (directed by Jaco Bouwer) and Albee’s Wie’s Bang Vir Virginia Woolf?(directed by Christiaan Olwagen).  In 2013 Van Greunen translated Ont- as Undone for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and in 2014, it played the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown where it won the Standard Bank Ovation Award: Gold. He also appeared in Shakespeare’s Richard III (directed by Lara Bye) at the Maynardville Open Air Theatre, Boesman, My Seun (written and directed by Deon Opperman), Waterpas which he also wrote (directed by Christiaan Olwagen) and Tom Lanoye’s Bloed en Rose. He’s also wrote Slaaf (2014), Al Julle Volke and Sandton City Grootdoop (2015) – which all premiered at the ABSA KKNK. In 2015 he apeared in Philip Rademeyer’s Adam Twee at the Woordfees in Stellenbosch.  He currently resides in Cape Town where he continues to invest in local theatre as actor, writer and theatermaker.

David Viviers
David is a film and theater actor. In 2014 he graduated from UCT with distinction in Theatre and Performance (UCT), where he also received the Ruth Peffers prize for Most Promising Student. At the beginning of 2015, he was nominated for a Fleur du Cap theatre award for Most Promising Student. This year, he has performed alongside Nicholas Ellenbogen in the National Arts Festival cult classic Raiders and in Cry Havoc, directed by Roy Sargeant. In his final year at UCT he appeared in Mephisto, A Lie of the Mind,12th Night at the Macbeths and Die Buffel - all directed by Christopher Weare.

Melissa Haiden
In January 2015 Melissa Haiden played Desdemona in Fred Abrahamse's Othello at Maynardville. Following that she played W in Cock at the Alexander Bar and 3 women in John at the Artscape Arena. She plays a very excitable Irish nurse in Netflix's Jadotville and a savage pilgrim called Elinor Billington in Sony and Nat Geo's 'Saints and Strangers' to be released in November 2015.

Book for The Maids by Jean Genet by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Mon 9th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Tue 10th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Mon 16th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Tue 17th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Wed 18th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Thu 19th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Fri 20th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Sat 21st Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Mon 23rd Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Tue 24th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Wed 25th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Thu 26th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Fri 27th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online) Sat 28th Nov 9pm R100 (R90 online)

No Jazz Hands Allowed

New Musical Theatre Festival • Running Time: 60 mins
Directed by Keenan Tyler Oliphant | Musical Direction by Kurt Haupt | Conceptualised by Keenan Tyler Oliphant and Bonny White
Cape Town’s vibrant, new musical theatre company, Mixing Bowl Productions present a three night New Musical Theatre Festival. Three concerts over three nights of brand new, unknown contemporary musical theatre pieces performed by a cast compromising of Cape Town’s top vocalists alongside some brilliant undiscovered talent. From comical to poignant, the pieces explore contemporary experiences of love, loss, sex (GASP) and more. 
Mixing Bowl Productions is a theatre production company focusing on small-scale alternate musical theatre. Mixing Bowl strives to produce musical theatre, which is cutting edge and pushes the boundaries of traditional musical theatre. Mixing Bowl Productions’ recent debut at the National Arts Festival,with their new musical theatre production, In-between, was met with high critical acclaim:

‘The work of the cast is exceptional. This is a layered, lyrical pieces with strong vocalists who take you on a journey of their experiences.’ - CUE 2015

No Jazz Hands Allowed is a festival, which allows not only Cape Town audiences, but also the performers the opportunity to discover and experience these musical theatre gems.

Book for No Jazz Hands Allowed by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Thu 12th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 13th Nov 9pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 14th Nov 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 (Tuesday)

The 7 Obsessions

Tomorrow (Wednesday)

The 7 Obsessions

OMG Quiz Night


OMG Quiz Night
Wed 21 7pm
Wed 28 7pm

As Alles Blou Is
Mon 19 6pm
Tue 20 6pm
Wed 21 6pm
Thu 22 6pm
Fri 23 6pm
Sat 24 6pm

Kinders van die wind
Mon 19 8pm
Tue 20 8pm
Wed 21 8pm
Thu 22 8pm
Fri 23 8pm
Sat 24 8pm

Naked Girls Reading Cape Town presents the Halloween Show
Live reading
Wed 28 9pm
Thu 29 9pm

This Thursday

Nicky Schrire (featuring Ariella Caira & Barry van Zyl)
Singer - Songwriter / Pop
15 Oct 7pm

This Friday

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

This Saturday

The Ruse - Coal Album Launch
Ethereal Dark Rock
17 Oct 8pm

Penny In The Well
Fiction Writing Course
17 Oct 11am


The Maids by Jean Genet
Mon 9 9pm
Tue 10 9pm
Mon 16 9pm
Tue 17 9pm
Wed 18 9pm
Thu 19 9pm
Fri 20 9pm
Sat 21 9pm
Mon 23 9pm
Tue 24 9pm
Wed 25 9pm
Thu 26 9pm
Fri 27 9pm
Sat 28 9pm

No Jazz Hands Allowed
New Musical Theatre Festival
Thu 12 9pm
Fri 13 9pm
Sat 14 9pm

For enquiries please call 021.300.1652.
Browse past shows here