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.

Performance • Running Time: 60 mins
Directed & written by Andi Colombo | Concept by Russell Crous & Andi Colombo | Performed by Kathleen Stephens & Russell Crous | Sound Design by Naledi Majola & Andi Colombo | Photography & Videography by Liese Kuhn
Warning: Profanity

It’s day 728. 2030. Amy and Roald are stuck in a storeroom in a laboratory built halfway up Table Mountain. Outside, a desolate and apocalyptic landscape awaits, complete with soaring temperatures, out of control weather patterns and the potential of carbon dioxide poisoning. Amy and Roald are, quite frankly, in a bit of a pickle. Plus, they have to solve the most significant problem of all - how do they keep their succulents alive?

A new work by Andi Colombo, starring Kathleen Stephens and Russell Crous, AMES examines relationships, humanity, and climate change, all the while asking: what happens when humans go too far?

AMES is the creation of emerging theatre-maker Andi Colombo (PAN., Like Hamlet), and stars Kathleen Stephens (Shakespeare in Love, Like Hamlet) and Russell Crous (Outlander, The Widow, The Escape Room).

Andi Colombo
Andi Colombo completed her degree (honours equivalent) in Theatre Making at the University of Cape Town in 2017. Andi considers herself fortunate to have been involved in technically operating, lighting designing and stage-managing many productions over the last few years. Andi’s 2017 Theatre Making final piece, PAN. was included in the New Voices Festival on UCT’s Hiddingh Campus in December 2017, and was presented as part of the Zabalaza festival at the Baxter Theatre in March 2018, where it won the categories for Best Script and Best Supporting Actor, and was nominated for Best Direction, Best Actress and Best Production. Most recently, she performed in a body-focused exploration called Fill, and wrote and performed in Like Hamlet, a play directed by Kanya Viljoen.

Kathleen Stephens
Kathleen Stephens debuted her acting career in the production of People Beneath Our Feet in 2016 directed by Blythe Linger and Katya Mendleson. Since then she has gone on to star in Wessel Pretorius’ I Love You Sally Field, Dara Beth’s Nasty Womxn, and Jon Keevy’s Single Minded and The Underground Library, which was the first recipient Fleur du Cap award for Best Children’s Theatre Production. This year Kathleen has been seen on the Maynardville stage as Lucentio in the first all-female South African production of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew directed by Tara Nottcutt. She performed in Pretorius’ Fotostaatmasjien which debuted at Woordfees Festival and KKNK. She worked on Like Hamlet directed by Kanya Viljoen and recently finished performing in Fugard’s return season of Shakespeare in Love.  

Russell Crous
Russell Crous is an actor based in Cape Town, South Africa. With a degree in the arts, Russell has put it to good use in international film and television; appearing as Second Mate Baxley in Starz’ Outlander Season 3, and as Charlie in Danger Room (2019, Columbia Pictures). He is also set to appear in The Widow, which features Kate Beckinsale, Charles Dance and Alex Kingston. 

Russell studied at AFDA, in Cape Town, and graduated with his degree in Live Performance. While there, he had the opportunity to hone his screen-craft in a number of student films, as well as learn a little theatre, featuring in “Lovborg’s Women” created and directed by Chris Weare, as well as “Rainshark” written by Neil McCarthy and directed by Alex McCarthy. This actor can also be seen in National Geographic’s “No Man Left Behind” and “Origins: The Journey of Humankind”. He has done two episodes of American Monster and can be seen in adverts for Lays, Tony Card and LG. 

Book for AMES by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Pub Quiz • Running Time: 120 mins
presented by Alexander Bar

Who? What? When? How? Why are you shouting answers at me? Oh, it's because I'm the quiz master and have all kinds of drinkable prizes for the rightest of the righteous. Am I using those words right? Actually, don't answer that question. There will be others soon.

'Let's Get Quizzical' kicks off in December and includes all the things you love about pub quizzes: Leagues with melodramatic team rivalries! Quiz masters with sexy voices! Spot prizes that almost 100% will be liquid! And of course quirky categories like Um, Actually and Multiple Voice!

Ready? Then Let's Get Quizzical!

Each team should have at least 2 people but no more than 6.
Pineapples disguised as people will be counted as people.
Silly team names are compulsory.
The Quiz Master is always right. Even if google says no.
Brains only! No phones, laptops, or books!

Book for Let's Get Quizzical by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Musical Performance - Singer Songwriter Pianist • Running Time: 60 mins
Written and performed by Chantal | Directed by Godfrey Johnson
Warning: No under 13s

Chantal creates musical moments in which worlds unfold and characters evolve, telling stories about being human.  Chantal’s pianistic style could be likened to Tori Amos; her lyricism evokes Suzanne Vega; and her voice similar to that of Amy Lee from Evanescence. The flavour, however, is all Chantal…a solo act, a woman, singer, writer and pianist, walking her own path; musically colouring outside the lines and crafting her own soundscape.

In her rich storytelling, Chantal writes about your neighbourhood and everyday experiences. What is the story behind that woman’s scars? What is the point of anger? What does life feel like after a fire? The infinite and mysterious: strength of spirit, dreams, ghosts, death.  The nature of the world: freedom, war, hope, healing this world; and the intimate: relationships, betrayal, and love. It’s all personal; it’s all political.

Chantal is her own musician, and the piano is an adventure.   “A chord unplayed can hold an audience longer than a crashing rock power-chord.” Faced with the infinite number of choices offered by 88 keys, Chantal puts the piano to work in a different way for each song, with tailored chords, unique and compelling arrangements, daring manoeuvres and gentle pulses.  Chantal creates her own melodies and counter-melodies, blending piano, voice, and rhythm to create colourful imagery generating a sense of vulnerability with an edge. Her powerful new album ‘Scars’ is now available from over 600 quality digital music stores online worldwide – main links at https://www.chantalsmusic.com/ 

The show is directed by Godfrey Johnson - one of South Africa’s leading performing artists, with a singular reputation as a Cabaret Artist, Composer, Writer and Director with multiple Fleur du Cap nominations and awards.

Book for Chantal by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Otto Dix Weimar Cabaret • Running Time: 60 mins
Written, directed and performed by Aletia Upstairs (with a lot of help from Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht)

Aletia Upstairs, cabaretist extraordinaire delivers an exploration of Weill, Brecht, and Weimar cabaret songs like Alabama Song, Falling in Love Again, Pirate Jenny, Barbara Song, and I Am a Vamp. Set in the world of expressionist painter Otto Dix, as Julia Berber – Anita Berber’s fictional sister, Aletia Upstairs relates the Weimar period to contemporary events with comedy and audience sing-alongs.

“Aletia gave a great performance full of passion and humour. The audience loved it.”
✭✭✭✭✭ – Patrick Harrington (Counter Culture)

“Challenging and courageous. This lady in red shines like a newborn star.”
   – Kevin Short (International Times)

“A Queer Love Of Dix is a quality piece of theatre and performance art…a well-crafted script and beautifully sung songs…a performance of mastery.”
✭✭✭✭✭ – Mark Calvert (Mumble) 

Aletia Upstairs is a South African born, London based archival performance artist, cabaretist, singer-songwriter and vintage songstress currently completing a PhD in Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett University. Her practice is situated in performing archives, autobiographical, postdramatic and participatory-immersive performance.‘A Queer Love of Dix’ received 5-star reviews at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018. She received the Kantor Demarco award at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016 for 'Emballage'. 

Book for A Queer Love of Dix by clicking this button:

Pop • Running Time: 60 mins
Directed and performed by Peter Ngqibs | Choreography by Llewellyn Mnguni | Presented by Ananm Entertainment
Warning: Explicit Language

Join Peter Ngqibs as he takes you on a journey for his personal freedom and his self discovery through an eclectic mix of pop, dance and R'nB.

South African born, USA-bred Xhosa singer, songwriter, composer and organist Peter Ngqibs recently released his official full-length album, Let Me Go – a piece of work that has been long in the making. The 13-track album features the melodic, uplifting and inspiring first single “Broken” in 2017.  The single, as remixed by Mikey Gallagher (Leona Lewis, Deborah Cox, Danny Howells) climbed to the Top 30 in the U.K. Commercial Pop Club Charts.  His music video for “Free Me” was nominated for Best Music Video by the Jersey Shore Film Festival (2018); “Over Again” was nominated by the Garden State Film Festival (2018) and the Berlin Motion Picture Festival (2017) for Best Music Video and Best Rock Music Video respectively.  Although based in the States, Peter still calls South Africa home. 

Born and raised in Pretoria, Waterkloof Glen, Peter (born Ngqibeko Peter Ncanywa) has had music in his bones, from as early as his primary school days.  Peter joined the Drakensberg Boys Choir, which saw him touring, travelling the world and solidifying his dreams and career as a musician.  After the Drakensberg, Peter joined the National School of the Arts in Braamfontein. From there, he found his way to the United States where he truly came into his own musically. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Performance and a Minor in Psychology.

Llewellyn Mnguni

Dancer and choreographer Llewellyn Mnguni, began training at the the age of 14, at the Mmabana Mmabatho Arts Council as a Latin American and Ballroom dance student and continued to compete on a professional level from 1999-2002. In 2003 he attended the National School of the Arts and thereafter obtained a Dance Teachers Diploma at the University of Cape Town School of Dance School in the year 2010. Mnguni also joined the Mmabana Dance Company as a full time dance teacher and choreographer from 2007-2009.

While completing his final year in high school (Grade 12) he performed and choreographed for the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in 2006 for his work ‘Prozac’ and then the GIPCA Live Arts Festival under the directorship of Jay Pather in 2012. In 2010 he joined the Bovim Ballet company under the directorship of Sean Bovim. Mnguni has performed with the likes of Celeste Botha and Marlin Zoutman during his time as a company member of New World Dance Theatre.

He has collaborated with well acclaimed artists such as Ahmed Umar for “Tribute to Ali” an exhibition at the Format gallery in Oslo,Norway. He has performed the challenging roles of Odile in Swan Lake, Escamilio in Carmen and Myrtha in Giselle for Dada Masilo's extensive Asian,European, Canadian and US tour during 2013-2017, Mnguni also collaborated with visual artist/LGBTI activist Zanele Muholi and Lerato Dumse for a series of exhibitions and site specific shows during the 2016 Oslo gay pride week.

His dance teaching experience spans from teaching at dance companies, primary and high schools as well as workshops around South Africa and Europe. He continues to work as a multi fasciated artist whereby he gives talks and workshops that inspire and support the LGBTI universal community, as well as collaborating and inspiring upcoming dancers and artists. 

Book for Let Me Go by clicking this button:

Comedy • Running Time: 90 mins
Directed by Emma Di Bona | Written by Alan Ball | Performed by Emma Di Bona, Harley Ferguson, Jo mari Malan, Nicole Grobler, Kerryn van der Merwe, Annette Benz Rights by arrangement with DALRO

Five very different bridesmaids find themselves hiding together in an upstairs bedroom, hoping to escape the wedding reception of a bride that, they soon realize, none of them actually like! There's Meredith, the rebellious little sister of the bride; Frances, the very religious cousin; Mindy, the groom's blunt and clumsy sister; Georgeanne, an old  friend with problems of her own; and Trisha, a jaded beauty with doubts about men. In this crowded room above the wedding, these five identically dressed women talk, argue, cry and laugh together.

After a successful run at the Galloway Theatre, 'Five Women Wearing the Same Dress' is back to thrill audiences. This hilarious show will have you laughing and crying!

Alan Ball’s 'Five Women Wearing the Same Dress' was written and set in the early 1990s and is a wonderfully witty and sensitive look at the issues and struggles of young women. Best known for his highly acclaimed HBO series, “Six Feet Under,” and his award-winning 1999 film, “American Beauty,” Ball has an ability to combine dark and light humor, quirkiness, and serious themes. There is a lot of drinking and gossip and fooling around, but at the heart of the play are serious issues, and the ability of the women to come together.

Book for Five Women Wearing The Same Dress by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Dramedy • Running Time: 45 mins
A Frikken Playhouse Production | Regie deur Liese Kuhn | Teks deur Liese Kuhn en Laura-Lee Mostert | Met Laura-Lee Mostert | Sketse deur Laura-Lee Mostert

Op clicks se website se dit meer as 44 miljoen mense wereldwyd ly aan Alzheimers. 44 miljoen wereldwyd en 750 000 in Suid Afrika. Natuurlik is die getal dinamies en groei basies elke 4 sekondes met nog iemand wat vergeet hulle het al geeet en gerook en hulle pille gedrink. Nog iemand wat hulle kinders nie herken nie. Nog iemand wat vergeet om ‘n pantie aan te trek. Nog iemand wat lank nie meer nostalgies oor die verlede kan top nie.

Snaaks hoe ons strewe om “present” te wees. Self help boeke en Oprah en Deepak en meditasie en silent retreats en yoga, alewige yoga, daily diary entries, coconut water, lesings, gesprekke, self refleksie, mantras, naels kou, self care, kaal swem in die see, cocaine, dagga, die “ek gaan facebook vir ‘n maand delete post”, korter familie vakansies, bid.

Ons hardloop weg van ons verlede af wat aanhoudend by ons spook, en dan, dan gebeur Alzheimers. Dementia. Die antwoord op ons vraag. Die grootse voorbeeld van “be careful what you wish for” . En terwyl ons van ons verledes vergeet. Sit en kyk die universe hoe ons brein-appels stadig maar seker verlkeur en vrot en ons verledes verorber.

Daar’s ’n Vreemdeling In My Bed volg Amelia se hartelike reis deur trauma, geluk en die eksentrisiteit van die banale lewe. Haar obsessie met argief en onthou is kragtig in al haar aksies, stories, sketse en menswees.

Book for Daar's 'n vreemdeling in my bed by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

world | acoustic | Hang instrument • Running Time: 40 mins
Marco Selvaggio on the very rare hang instrument

Marco Selvaggio from Italy will perform with his hang - the rarest instrument in the world - for a special night of magic music.

Marco Selvaggio is an artist that has been playing all around the world for 10 years touring with his hangs. He has released 2 albums: "The Eternal Dreamer" (Waterbirds Records) and Aether (T-Lab Revolution) and 5 EPs. 

Book for Marco Selvaggio by clicking this button:

illusion • Running Time: 55 mins
Directed, written, and performed by Andrew Klazinga

"What you don't see" is an experience of mind reading, mystery, and amazement. It will take you on a journey of discovery where reality appears to be bending right in your hands. Join Andrew as he becomes your tour guide through the strange and unusual place that is his world.

Andrew is a mentalist who has performed across Africa. He is a graduate of the College of Magic and a member of both the Cape Magicians Circle and The Cape Town Magic Club. His first one man show, "f I really did have powers...(it would look something like this)" which showed at the 2017 Cape Town Fringe Festival and the 2018 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. He was part of both season 6 and season 7 of Monday Night Magic at the Waterfront and Artscape and recently became the 2018 Daelin Trophy winner at the Cape Magicians Circle. He loves to create fascinating pieces of illusions involving mind reading and interesting ideas while having fun on stage.

Book for What you don't see - a mentalist story by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

physical-drama • Running Time: 58 mins
Performed by Carlo Daniels and Abigail Mei

A new and original physical theatre play that holds very important messages, performed in Afrikaans. The play is created and performed by two upcoming theatre makers Carlo Daniels and Abigail Mei. Onweer follows the story of a young woman Tammy Solomons. Her abusive father, Joe Solomons, is returning home after a 10 year prison sentance. For Tammy, this causes anxiety and waiting in anticipation. His return brings many questions to his family and the community. The play provokes an audience who buries the truths in silence .

ONWEER is a new and relavant theatre piece, that tells a very important story about a young woman Tammy Solomoms who is caught in a web of emotional abuse by her father. The play is created by Carlo Daniels and Abigail Mei both trained in physical theatre at Magnet theatre under Jenny Reznek. Onweer won the “ Zabalaza Festival ‘’ in 2018 out of 40 productions and is the the first Afrikaans play to do so. The production got five nominations and two awards  ( Best Production and Carlo Daniels as Best Actor ) . This production is also directed by Carlo Daniels who has played in several David Kramer and Fugard Theatre productions like: Kat and The Kings, Orpheus in Africa and District Six Kanala.  Daniels was last seen in Friedrich Durrenmatt  “ The Visit “ at Maget Theatre directed by Mark Fleishman.

With the high levels of violence against women in South Africa, the timing ofOnweer’s staging could not be better planned. It is a physical theatre work about a young woman Tammy (Mei), who lives on the Cape Flats. She is overwhelmed by her abusive father’s (played by Daniels) return after his 10-year prison sentence. His return causes much anxiety and leaves many unanswered questions for the family and the community. Did being incarcerated for a decade make him a better man?

“Onweer was a chance for me to create my own language,” says Daniels. “It was a way for me to communicate my vision as a director. When I wrote this play I’d heard of many cases of rape around me. It motivated me to research the theme and the impact on the victim and the community. Abigail and I developed the piece, first for a competition as a 20-minute play, then as a fully-fledged production.

 He is a physical theatre-trained actor, singer and theatre-maker, who grew up in Mitchell’s Plain where he started performing on street corners. He later performed at Madame Zingara and had his first big break in David Kramer’s 2011 musical hit production Some Like it Vrot. He went on to star in several other David Kramer productions such as Kat and the Kings, Blood Brothers, Orpheus in Africa, District Six Kanala and Fred Abrahamse’s Robin Hood Canal Walk. He also performed alongside David Kramer in Platteland, at the 2018 Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK). Both artists recently completed the 2-year, full-time, training and job creation programme at Magnet Theatre.

Book for ONWEER by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Afro-folk, Alternative • Running Time: 60 mins
Blessing Tabang on vocals and guitar | G stickz on Drums | Ifeoluwa on bass | Uduak EJ on Keyboard

Come experience an evening of pure, intimate, afro-folk melodies with Nigerian musician Blessing Tangban at the Alexander theatre. For the first time ever in Cape town, The Nigerian queen of folk music will share her artistry, alongside her band for an unforgettable musical experience.

Book for Blessing Tangban Live by clicking this button:

Theatre • Running Time: 60 mins
Conceived and Directed by Jenine Collocott | Performed by Taryn Bennett | Presented by Contagious Theatre | Written by Jenine Collocott and Taryn Bennett | Additional dramaturgy by Nick Warren | Sound effects by Peter Cornell

Winner of a 2018 Standard Bank Ovation Award, Contagious Theatre’s newest production, Silkworm, is an evocative exploration of the ordinary things that make life extraordinary. The story is told to us through the eyes of the at once gregarious and socially awkward Georgina. Georgina is about to have the single most important day of her life. On this day, she takes the audience on a journey that reveals how the small things are, ultimately, big things. 

Silkworm makes extensive use of storytelling and clowning techniques borrowed from Italy’s Helikos School of Theatre Creation, adding a dollop of humour and a touch of whimsy. The result is a theatrical experience that explores, pushes, and ultimately punctures the gossamer thin veil that divides the wistfully surreal from the frighteningly real.

Silkworm is conceived and directed by Jenine Collocott and stars Taryn Bennett, with additional dramaturgy by Nick Warren. Audiences can anticipate the sensitive and insightful entertainment delivered by other Contagious Theatre productions and collaborations, including The Snow Goose, The Old Man and The Sea, Babbelagtig, Kaput, Dirt, Sunday Morning and Making Mandela.

‘Superbly brought to life.’
- The Critter

‘A shining beautiful gem.’
- The Witness 

'Bennett is a delight to watch.'
- Robyn Sassen

Jenine studied theatre creation at Helikos in Florence, Italy. Her production Making Mandela won the 2016 Naledi for Best Youth Production and was most recently selected as part of the Assitej World Congress Main Programme. Much of her work has travelled internationally, namely Dirt (Official selection Fringe World, Perth and the Brighton Festival); Sunday Morning (Official selection Edinburgh Festival); A Day in the Desert (Sold out tour in California).

Jenine is an acclaimed director and designer and has been nominated for a number of awards. Her most recent work Silkworm won a 2018 Ovation Award and The Old Man and the Sea was nominated for two Naledi Awards and have played to critical and audience acclaim. Her most recent production Babbelagtig won Best Youth Production and Best Debut at the KKNK Kanna Awards and has been nominated for Best Production at the 2019 Fiestas.

Instagram @jeninecollocottwarren
Twitter @jeninecollocott

Taryn studied theatre at Rhodes University. She has performed for TV and stage and is a regular at the National Arts Festival with hits like The Snow Goose, Doctor Colliinger’s Funeral Service, Kaput and Sie Weiss Alles. Taryn performed nationally for both Ubom and FTH:K theatre companies to critical and audience acclaim. In 2015 she worked on twenty-six episodes of the children’s TV series Silly Seasons. Taryn was most recently nominated for Best Supporting Actress for The Old Man and the Sea at the 2018 Naledi Theatre Awards. Her critically acclaimed Silkworm won a 2018 Ovation Award.

Instagram @tarynsandrabennett

Book for Silkworm by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
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Today (Wednesday)

at 7pm
Let's Get Quizzical
Pub Quiz
at 7pm

Tomorrow (Thursday)

at 7pm

This Friday

21 Dec at 7pm 9pm

This Saturday

22 Dec at 7pm 9pm

Rest of December

Musical Performance - Singer Songwriter Pianist
Thu 27 at 7pm
Fri 28 at 7pm
Sat 29 at 7pm
A Queer Love of Dix
Otto Dix Weimar Cabaret
Fri 28 at 9pm
Test Show
Mon 31 at 3pm

January 2019

Let's Get Quizzical
Pub Quiz
9 Wed 7pm at 7pm
16 Wed 7pm at 7pm
23 Wed 7pm at 7pm
Let Me Go
11 Fri 8pm at 8pm
Five Women Wearing The Same Dress
14 Mon 8pm at 8pm
15 Tue 8pm at 8pm
16 Wed 8pm at 8pm
21 Mon 8pm at 8pm
22 Tue 8pm at 8pm
23 Wed 8pm at 8pm
24 Thu 8pm at 8pm
25 Fri 8pm at 8pm
26 Sat 8pm at 8pm
Daar's 'n vreemdeling in my bed
17 Thu 9pm at 9pm
18 Fri 9pm at 9pm
19 Sat 9pm at 9pm
Marco Selvaggio
world | acoustic | Hang instrument
20 Sun 7pm at 7pm
CRAZY - Golden Oldies with a touch of Bipolar
Jazz | Cabaret
27 Sun 7pm at 7pm

February 2019

What you don't see - a mentalist story
7 Thu 7pm at 7pm
8 Fri 7pm at 7pm
9 Sat 7pm at 7pm

March 2019

28 Thu 9pm at 9pm
29 Fri 9pm at 9pm
30 Sat 9pm at 9pm

April 2019

1 Mon 9pm at 9pm
2 Tue 9pm at 9pm
3 Wed 9pm at 9pm
4 Thu 9pm at 9pm
5 Fri 9pm at 9pm
6 Sat 9pm at 9pm
Blessing Tangban Live
Afro-folk, Alternative
27 Sat 7pm at 7pm

May 2019

6 Mon 7pm at 7pm
7 Tue 7pm at 7pm
8 Wed 7pm at 7pm
9 Thu 7pm at 7pm
10 Fri 7pm at 7pm
11 Sat 7pm at 7pm
13 Mon 7pm at 7pm
15 Wed 7pm at 7pm
16 Thu 7pm at 7pm
17 Fri 7pm at 7pm
18 Sat 7pm at 7pm
One Africa Concert
Afro soul & Poetry
26 Sun 7pm at 7pm

December 2019

Test Show
1 Sun 5pm at 5pm

January 2020

Ticket to Refund
1 Wed 12am at 12am
Season Ticket
1 Wed 12am at 12am

For enquiries please call 021.300.1652.
Browse past shows here