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.

Can­ciones en 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): Hurry! Only 12 tick­ets left! Sat 30th Aug 8pm R150 (R130 online): Hurry! Only 19 tick­ets left!

Naked Girls Read­ing Cape Town presents Crash Course

Read­ing • Run­ning Time: 75 mins
Pro­duced by Kelly Smith | Read­ers: Cherry Lesque, Come­dia Wilde, Lyric­notic & Made­moi­selle Demi Monde
Warn­ing: Nudity | No under 18s
Face­book Event
What is Naked Girls Read­ing?

Naked Girls Read­ing is a nude lit­er­ary salon that takes place in twenty 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.

More: http://nakedgirlsreading.com/press

Naked Girls Read­ing, called “appro­pri­ately racy” by Enter­tain­ment Weekly and “the best thing to hap­pen to books since they were put on tape…” by Car­son Daly, was founded in Chicago in March of 2009 by Inter­na­tional Show­girl Michelle L’Amour and hus­band Franky Vivid.

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Sat 30th Aug 3pm R150 (R130 online): Hurry! Only 10 tick­ets left! Sat 6th Sep 3pm R150 (R130 online)

Play Things

Open-mic per­for­mance, writ­ing, film & music • Run­ning Time: 70 mins
fea­tur­ing Kitty Fay, Nicholas Spag­no­letti, Lance Her­man, Can­dice D’Arcy & Fiona Du Plooy, Luthando Jamba, Jaco Noth­nagel & Nandi Horak, and Kirby Kruger & Mer­ryn Carver
Warn­ing: Run­ning time may vary
Oh. My. Gawd.

Play Things is hot and crazy this week with a lot of peo­ple promis­ing to deliver… well, I don’t know what they’re going to be deliv­er­ing to you on our hum­ble stage. I know there’ll be music, I’m pretty sure there’ll be danc­ing, I sus­pect there will be pup­pets, pos­si­bly mono­logues, pos­si­bly new writ­ing (actu­ally, def­i­nitely new writ­ing in fact yes).

It’s a fat line up that mat still include some sur­prises so the only thing cer­tain is that I’ll see you there.

Book now by click­ing this button:
Mon 1st Sep 8pm R30 (R20 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
Face­book Event
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:
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)

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)

The Kreutzer Sonata

Drama | Solo per­for­mance • Run­ning Time: 85 mins
Directed by Clare Stop­ford | Adapted & per­formed by Nicky Rebelo | Based on Leo Tolstoy’s The Kreutzer Sonata | Light­ing design Paul Abrams | Pre­sented with the kind assis­tance of Artscape
The Kreutzer Sonata adapted from the 1889 novella by Leo Tol­stoy, which was inspired by Beethoven’s sonata for piano and vio­lin. On a train jour­ney from the coun­try to Moscow, Pos­d­nich­eff, a for­mer court offi­cial of the Zem­stvo, tells a grip­ping tale of love, lust, debauch­ery, mar­riage, jeal­ousy and mur­der. The show pre­miered on the main at the 2014 National Arts Fes­ti­val Gra­ham­stown as part of The Sea­son of Solo plays.
The Oscar Pis­to­rius and Shrien Dewani mur­der tri­als are shock­ing reminders that South Africa has a female homi­cide rate six times the global aver­age with half the women killed by an inti­mate part­ner. Tol­stoy, widely con­sid­ered as one of the worlds great­est nov­el­ists, gives a star­tling insight into the psy­chol­ogy behind the facade of love and lust of men.

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Tue 9th Sep 9pm R100 (R90 online) Mon 15th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Tue 16th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Wed 17th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Thu 18th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Fri 19th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online) Sat 20th Sep 7pm R100 (R90 online)

One Man and a Pack of Cards

Sleight of hand • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Stu­art Lightbody
Stuart’s been work­ing on some cut­ting edge “just might be crazy enough to work” card magic, and needs a spot to try out his lat­est inven­tions. But don’t worry, these new demon­stra­tions of sleight of hand and psy­chol­ogy will be mixed in with some of his favourite pieces from his last 6 one man shows. The result will be an evening that is guar­an­teed to enter­tain, at half the price of his reg­u­lar show!

Book now by click­ing this button:
Wed 10th Sep 9pm R60 (R45 online)

Lau­rie Levine

Con­tem­po­rary Folk • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Lau­rie Levine
Lau­rie Levine is a singer-songwriter carv­ing out an orig­i­nal niche in con­tem­po­rary folk music. Her excit­ing blend of Amer­i­can roots music and the ‘Nu-Folk’ sound has earned her crit­i­cal acclaim at home and abroad. She has earned mul­ti­ple SAMA nom­i­na­tions, won two Stan­dard Bank Ova­tion Awards and has toured the UK with an inter­na­tional release of her album ‘Six Win­ters’. Her unique voice com­bined with her poetic and rich sto­ry­telling make her an artist of real power – melo­di­ous, soul­ful and cap­ti­vat­ing. Catch her solo show at the Alexan­der Upstairs the­atre, up close and unplugged.
As her fans know well, Levine’s gift lies in her abil­ity to draw on the deep roots of folk music, and mix it in with a myr­iad of other influ­ences, includ­ing from America’s Appalachia region and her native South Africa. With the acoustic gui­tar as her main instru­ment, her record­ings see Levine – and a host of superb musi­cians – deploy an array of instru­ments (pedal steel, dobro, banjo, man­dolin, har­mon­ica, strings) that add the kind of atmos­phere and lay­ers that pro­pel her songs out of sim­ple singer-songwriter territory.

Book now by click­ing this button:
Thu 11th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online)

BLVD Queen: The crown­ing of Daphne Tuesday

Music per­for­mance • Run­ning Time: 60 mins
Per­formed by Daphne Tues­day | Pro­duced by Green­back Events
BLVD Queen is an inti­mate solo show per­formed by Daphne Tues­day. Daphne Tues­day is an alter­na­tive pop singer/ song­writer from Cape Town; her sound con­sists of melan­cholic melodies lay­ered on top of hip– hop beats influ­enced by Lana Del Rey, Flo­rence and the Machine, Drake and The Week­end. Her lyri­cal con­tent com­bined with emo­tive vocal range talks about her love for 60’s pop cul­ture and the life and times of a 20something year old. Her writ­ing is influ­enced by the mys­tery and gen­eral “weird­ness” of Coco Rosie and the beau­ti­fully sad and roman­tic imagery of Lana Del Rey, Sylvia Plath, Azelia Banks, Ernest Hem­ming­way and Etta James.
Born and bred in Cape Town, South Africa, Daphne’s pas­sion for writ­ing started at a very young age through her mother’s encour­age­ment to keep a diary. It was there where her thoughts blos­somed into short sto­ries and poetry. She started singing late in her high school career and after doing her first solo gig at a school con­cert, she knew that singing was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Her dream became more of a real­ity in Uni­ver­sity where she got the oppor­tu­nity to work
with amaz­ing and tal­ented musi­cians, pro­duc­ers and writ­ers. Through her par­ents, who worked tire­lessly to give her the best edu­ca­tion pos­si­ble and the many peo­ple she’s been for­tu­nate to work with, she has become the singer/songwriter that she is today. After many tribu­la­tions with record labels, Daphne, along with her man­ager, made a con­scious deci­sion to start an inde­pen­dent career, where she can express her­self and exper­i­ment freely, as an artist, within her craft and incor­po­rate all art forms into her music.

Book now by click­ing this button:
Fri 12th Sep 9pm R70 (R60 online)

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!
Face­book Event
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 this button:
Sat 13th Sep 9pm R150 (R130 online): Hurry! Only 2 tick­ets left!

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 Cape Town. 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.

Book now by click­ing the but­ton of the per­for­mance you wish to attend:
Mon 15th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online) Tue 16th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online) Wed 17th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online) Thu 18th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online) Fri 19th Sep 9pm R90 (R80 online) Sat 20th 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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Tomor­row (Friday)

Can­ciones en Espanolas

This Sat­ur­day

Can­ciones en Espanolas
30 Aug 8pm

Naked Girls Read­ing Cape Town presents Crash Course
30 Aug 3pm


Naked Girls Read­ing Cape Town presents Crash Course
Sat 6 3pm

The King­mak­ers
Dark com­edy
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

The Kreutzer Sonata
Drama | Solo per­for­mance
Tue 9 9pm
Mon 15 7pm
Tue 16 7pm
Wed 17 7pm
Thu 18 7pm
Fri 19 7pm
Sat 20 7pm

One Man and a Pack of Cards
Sleight of hand
Wed 10 9pm

Lau­rie Levine
Con­tem­po­rary Folk
Thu 11 9pm

BLVD Queen: The crown­ing of Daphne Tues­day
Music per­for­mance
Fri 12 9pm

After Dark — a bur­lesque story
Bur­lesque The­atre Show
Sat 13 9pm

The Epicene Butcher
Mon 15 9pm
Tue 16 9pm
Wed 17 9pm
Thu 18 9pm
Fri 19 9pm
Sat 20 9pm

This Mon­day

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

This Tues­day

The King­mak­ers
Dark com­edy
2 Sep 7pm

For enquiries please call 021.300.1652.
Browse past shows here