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.

Drama • Running Time: 70 mins
Written & directed by Wessel Pretorius | Starring David Viviers, Emma Kotze & Wessel Pretorius | Stage Manager: Wicus Louw
Warning: Brief smoking | Profanity and Religious themes

“You can rest assured that the things you were led to believe are completely reliable.”

The Gospel is a reworking of the Afrikaans play Al Julle Volke, which debuted in 2015 at the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival. It is a "soortvan" Passion Play that tells the story of a rural Afrikaans boy who believes he’s been called upon by God to lead the Afrikaner to salvation. Three performers unravel Jan Coetzee’s story by piecing together half-remembered scenes and testimonies that chronicle Afrikaner history and myth making. We get to know some of his so-called disciples, including the woman he fell in love with. The Gospel is a portrait of lost faith, changing times and a search for new identities.

 Pretorius is joined by two exciting young actors - David Viviers (Macbeth, Klara Maas Se Hart is Gebreek) and Emma Kotze ( Oh Baby I'm A Wild One, Fototstaatmasjien) in this darkly comedic foray into political and historical satire.

"The Gospel According to Jan Coetzee, directed by Wessel Pretorius cannot be understated, it is a truly brilliant and fascinating example of South African theatre. An absolutely captivating story is propelled by the excellence of its actors all of whom injected exceptional talent into one of the best theatre anyone can find this fest." - Cue, NAF

The Gospel According to Jan Coetzee began life as an Afrikaans play written for KKNK 2015 (then titled Al Julle Volke). When writer/director Pretorius was approached by the Cape Town Edge team to submit a show for the National Arts Festival Fringe 2019 as part of their curated venue, he thought it would be a good time to revisit the project. After translating the piece, however, Pretorius decided to rewrite the play entirely as a satire on nationalism.

Wessel Pretorius received a degree in Drama from the University of Pretoria in 2008 and went on with post-graduate studies in Acting at the University of Stellenbosch. In 2011 he debuted with his solo-piece Ont- which, along with its English translation - Undone - travelled South Africa and abroad for several years (winning four KykNet Fiësta-awards and the NAF Fringe Gold Ovation). Pretorius is also a published playwright (Die Dag is Bros/Sandton City Grootdoop) and director (Die Ontelbare 48, Klara Maas Se Hart is Gebreek, ensomeer: Die Vloeistof Trilogie, Fotostaatmasjien). Other highlights include Balbesit (written by Saartjie Botha and directed by Jaco Bouwer), Wie's Bang vir Virginia Woolf (translated by Saartjie Botha and directed by Christiaan Olwagen) and Twelfth Night (directed by Geoffrey Hyland). He currently lives in Cape Town as a freelance actor, writer, and theatermaker. 

David Viviers is a film and theatre actor. He graduated in 2014 from UCT (Theatre and Performance). In 2016, David was the recipient of the Brett Goldin Bursary award which allowed him to study with the Royal Shakespeare Company for a month in Stratford-upon-Avon. For theatre, David has received two Fleur du Cap Nominations, two Kanna nominations and two Fiesta nominations. He won none of them. Career highlights include playing an overly enthusiastic mime in the Afrikaans comedy Klara Maas se Hart is Gebreek (written and directed by Wessel Pretorius), playing Lady Macbeth in Fred Abrahamse 's Macbeth and playing the virile virus Rabies in Jemma Kahn's Cellist with Rabies (directed by Jacu Bouwer)

Emma Kotze completed her studies in Theatre and Performance at UCT in 2013, where she worked with director’s Christopher Weare, Luke Ellenbogen and Sandra Temmingh. After completing her studies, she was nominated for the 2014 Fleur Du Cap award for Most Promising Student. She made her professional theatre debut in the premier of Wynne Bredenkamp’s Salt at the 2014 National Arts Festival. Between 2015 - 2017 she performed in The Incredible Journey, written and directed by Stefan Erasmus. 2016 also saw her starring in Bredenkamp’s Warrior Green. In 2016 and 2017 she performed in a one-woman production, Oh Baby, I’m A Wild One, written and directed by acclaimed playwright Louis Viljoen. During this time she also performed in Ameera Conrad’s Reparation, In 2017 and 2018 she performed in Bredenkamp’s At The Edge of The Light, 2018 saw her starring in Bibi Slippers’ Fotostaatmasjien under the direction of Wessel Pretorius. In 2019 she also performed in Mercy Kannemeyer’s Die Bul Hy Wil Nie. Recently Kotze has filmed the second season of Fynskrif for kykNET under the direction of Nina Swart. Her other film credits include work on international series Strange New Things in 2016 and the second season of the international series ICE. She has also worked alongside Tinarie van Wyk Loots, Antoinette Kellerman, David Minnaar, Cintaine Schutte and Stian Bam in a stop animation film based on N.P. van Wyk Louw's Raka, produced by Ysterfang, Puppetry and Animation Company. She has also studied film acting under Bonni Rodini.  

Book for The Gospel According to Jan Coetzee by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Theatre • Running Time: 50 mins
Die Ednas | Script: Madelein Joubert & Anja van den Berg | Music: Anja van den Berg | Technical: Jeandre Hammond
Performed in Afrikaans

Daar`s niks so voorstedeliks soos `n Saterdagaand in `n mall by Nu Metro nie. Die popcorn is nie vars nie. Die koeldrank is flat. En Astros het heeltemal te duur geword. Twee single meisies, wagtend op `n fliek wat nie een van hulle rerig wil sien nie, al het Leon van Nierop dit as `n "vars bries" bestempel. Dis boonop Valentynsdag. Om die tyd om te kry word die lewe tot die dood toe bepraat en bepeins en die eksistensiele krissise raak net erger, die wonde net rouer. Dis nie maklik om 25 te wees nie.

"Valentynsdag (nie die movie nie)" is ‘n vars nuwe teks uit die pen van Die Edna’s – ‘n kabaretkollektief.

Hierdie kabaret is ‘n blik op die lewe van twee jong enkellopende dames in hedendaagse Suid-Afrika. Met snydende komedie en skerp satire word die lewe van ‘n jong enkellopende bestudeer en onder die vergrootglas geplaas. Dit raak al hoe moeiliker om liefde te vind – veral op die ouderdom van 25. Met al die dating apps en veranderinge in geslagspolitiek raak dit al moeiliker om die lyn te trek tussen beskikbaar en desperaat en hoe langer die lewe aanhou hoe meer ingewikkeld raak alles en hoe meer sak in as kan mens raak.

Die Edna’s het in 2016 met hul produskie Verplaas debuteer by die US Woordfees. Verplaas was ‘n oorspronklike kabaret wat gehandel het oor die kontroversiele onderwerp van plaasmoorde. Daarna het hulle by vele ander feeste en teaters voor uiteverkoopte gehore opgevoer en in 2018 het hulle teruggekeer na die US Woordfees met hulle produksie "Dis ‘n Land". Valentynsdag(nie die movie nie) is hulle derde professionele produksie.

Die kabaret kyk ook na geslagspolitiek en vooroordeel – soos te siene in die vele interessante karaktersketse en oorspronklike liedere. Die skrywers poog om ‘n spieelbeeld vir die gehoor op die verhoog te sit en die gehoor met hulself te konfronteer deur gebruik te maak van alombekende, alledaagse karakters en situasies wat enige persoon in hul eie lewe ook sal kan raaksien en herken.

Die Edna’s het in 2016 met hul produskie Verplaas debuteer by die US Woordfees. Verplaas was ‘n oorspronklike kabaret wat gehandel het oor die kontroversiele onderwerp van plaasmoorde. Daarna het hulle by vele ander feeste en teaters voor uitverkoopte gehore opgevoer en in 2018 het hulle teruggekeer na die US Woordfees met hulle produksie Dis ‘n Land. Valentynsdag(nie die movie nie) is hulle derde professionele produksie.

Book for Valentynsdag (nie die movie nie) by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Workshop • Running Time: 120 mins
Sessions are led by Kemsley Dickinson, founder and owner of the Courtyard Playhouse in Dubai, and the new owner of the Alexander Bar.

Our drop-in improv sessions at the Alexander are open to everyone, whether you are an experienced actor or not. All levels of improv experience welcome, all that is required is a great attitude and a willingness to play! It's a great opportunity to practice, de-stress, have some fun and meet new people, and best of all, there's no fee to join! The workshop is free!

Improv is great for people who love to be on stage and want to learn the core elements of improvised theatre, or for business people learning to feel comfortable with public speaking... in fact, anyone who wants to have fun while learning to be more spontaneous, creative, playful, open and aware.

Every Sunday evening, after the workshop we have a Maestro Improv™ Show. Participants in the workshop may be cast to perform at the Maestro that evening. A great opportunity to get in some stage practice. 

We're looking to put together an ensemble of actors to perform together at the Alexander on a regular basis. Casting for this will take place from the pool of people taking part in the drop-in sessions.

Please register your attendance here and if for any reason you can no longer attend then please let us know at least one hour in advance so someone else can jump in.

There is no workshop fee.

Book for Improv Drop-In Sessions by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Sun 17th Nov 4pm: Sorry, sold out

Improvisational comedy • Running Time: 120 mins
Running time may vary | Includes and interval

Fast-paced, unpredictable, and hilarious.

Ten of Cape Town's virtuoso actors converge for a night of scenes, songs and games based on audience suggestions. You score the players on a scale of 1 to 5, and after each round, the players with the lowest scores are eliminated.

When only one remains they, are crowned the Maestro! 

Entrance is free of charge, however, you will be given an opportunity to support the theatre by contributing your preferred amount as a donation at the end of the show.

Book for Maestro Improv ™ by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Improv Comedy • Running Time: 50 mins

Improv Comedy performed by The Long Shots!

They’ll be making it up on the spot…come see a series of Improvised scenes and stories inspired by audience suggestions. Everything is improvised - no planning, no script - just the comedy that comes from being in the moment!

The cast hails from South Africa, the UK and USA and have been performing together in some configuration or another since 2011.

Book for Improv Comedy with The Long Shots by clicking this button:

Physical Theatre • Running Time: 45 mins
Written & performed by Gaëtan Schmid | Directed by Andrew Laubscher

“It’s mad, and funny, and quite brilliant.” Weekend Special

Little Gaëtan is about to recite his poem in front of the class. And he panics. And his panic morphs into an apocalyptic zombie nightmare.

Big Gaëtan is the actor who plays Little Gaëtan. And Big G furiously mimes this apocalyptic zombie nightmare to a thrilling soundtrack made of hundreds of his movie faves.

Gaëtan jumps from one movie into the other, alternating perspectives and scales. Zooming in and out again, from characters that are fingers, to a face-in-shock close ups. A brilliant juxtaposition of a grandiose odyssey performed from a teeny-weeny little school chair.

“The premise of Zombie Attack is a very thin one. But who cares? This is fast, sexy, funny physical theatre” - Megan Furniss.

“… transfixing, mesmerising, hypnotising performance …” The Critter

This is the upgraded ZOMBIE ATTACK version with an exhilarating sound power boost from the one and only James Webb.

Audience feedback from first Zombie Attack run at Alexander Bar' Upstairs Theatre:

“Loved this wacky Hi-NRG show” - Evan

“a mastermind labyrinth journey in to conquer your fears, highly entertaining” - Richard

“Gaetan is a master performer! Brilliant!” - Shirley

“brilliantly awesome, precision at its finest ... thanks” - Terry

“What an exhilarating, thrilling mad rollercoaster ride! Utterly brilliant. Gaëtan was outstanding! A wonderful stimulating show! We all LOVED it - ages between 13 and 54 years.” - Sue

“I was worried about not knowing film trivia enough, but he made enough commonly-known hooks and looping through the first section helped to follow along. Very clever!” - JD

Director Andrew Laubscher
Andrew is a Cape Town-based film and theatre actor and Dirty Words director. Some theatre highlights include Richard III at Maynardville, Mirror Mirror directed by Geoffrey Hyland and written by Mike van Graan; As You Like It directed by Geoffrey Hyland; Cosi directed by Scott Sparrow; Antony and Cleopatra directed by Marthinus Basson; A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Guy de Lancey; Lovborg's Women directed by Chris Weare (Fleur Du Cap nomination for Best Supporting Actor); Mafeking Road directed by Tara Notcutt; A Comedy Of Errors directed by Matthew Wild; and Balbesit directed by Jaco Bouwer. In 2014, Andrew won the Fleur de Cap Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his performance as Riff-Raff in The Rocky Horror Show performed at The Fugard Theatre.

Since then Andrew's work includes The Emissary written and directed by Louis Viljoen; The Finkelsteins are Coming to Dinner directed by Adrian Collins, Marat/Sade directed by Jaco Bouwer performed at The Baxter Theatre and Tiger Bay performed at The Artscape Theatre. Most recent work includes the award-winning Swerfgoed directed by Tinarie van Wyk Loots with Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Nicole Holm and Richard September which will be performed at The Baxter Theatre in September.

Author/Performer Gaëtan Schmid
Gaëtan is a Belgian theatre artist currently living and working in South Africa. After studying theatre at the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France he toured new creations to festivals and theatres all over the world. Russia, Sweden, Romania, USA, Belgium, The Netherlands, England, Wales, Uganda, Andorra, Spain and Scotland. Since arriving in South Africa 20 years ago – when his South African wife (not wife then) told him to “… come … come and have a look… couple of weeks max…” Gaëtan produces, creates, writes and performs his own excitingly original one-man-shows… well, most of them are his own: Body Language I & IIThe Belgian (Fleur du Cap nominated); RumpsteakThe Dog’s Bollocks; The Incredible Beer Show; the pigeon; The Comical Tragedy; and Zombie Attack (the original version).

Press & Reviews

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

Improv Comedy • Running Time: 60 mins
Running time may vary

The Second Liners present... Improvisational Comedy Theatre!

Bang the drums and send forth the birds! The Second Liners stand ready to perform again! For one night only! Essentially always, as once it’s seen it will never be seen again!  They will transform the stage into a dreamcatcher of madness and wonderment. Then drawing in audience suggestions they will transforming them into an unrehearsed, unscripted and entirely ungovernable performance.

Join these Mother City rogues and prepare yourself for: hilarious portrayals of this world and beyond; benevolent audience interaction; elaborate hats (sometimes)!

The Second Liners shows are replete with plausible accolades such as:

“I thought it was comparable in surprise and excitement to what, I expect, being carried off by a Pterodactyl is like.” – Fairly generous audience member.

“Why do they keep asking us for suggestions? There’s so much ruckus, isn’t this the theatre? Is that one pretending to be a bus? By themselves? We’ve made a terrible mistake…” – Alarmed audience member.

“Probably very watchable, if I ever found myself without a puzzle to do, or anything really.” – Typical friend of the troupe

“There was laughing! Sometimes from us, sometimes from them, but mostly from the universe when they explained how improv works at the start.” – Agreeable audience member.

Book for The Second Liners: Unrehearsed, Unscripted, Ungovernable by clicking this button:

Musical Theatre • Running Time: 70 mins
Directed by Jervis Pennington & Nic Leonidas | Written & Performed by Jervis Pennington | Produced By Nic Leonidas | Presented by Authentik Productions

From famous to homeless to fearless! The musical memoir of Jervis Pennington is a truly original performance from a superb storyteller and world class songwriter with razor-sharp wit. 

“It’s a hellofa story!....and powerful songwriting.”  - David Kramer at the Cape Town Fringe

“Emotionally overwhelming… and Jervis should be in stand-up comedy!” - Robyn Cohen, The Cape Times

“Brilliant Leonard Cohen-esque style folk songs!” - Bruce Dennill, Radio Today

“Raw, brutally honest, inspiring and hilarious. The most unusual piece of theatre I have seen.” - Alexander Upstairs audience review

Jervis Pennington began his song writing career as lead-singer of his 80’s pop group The Soft Shoes. The group won the 1983 TV Talent Show 'Follow that Star' with their song 'Elvis Astaire', written by Jervis, which went to No 1 on several radio stations. The group sold over 100,000 records. Later, as General Manager of EMI’s South African music label, CCP Records, he managed the careers of artists such as Brenda Fassie. After writing the songs and scripts for several successful musical theatre productions, this show sees a return to pop. Several of the songs from this show are being recorded by Jervis' new recording outfit The Capetonians with Jervis acting as writer and producer whilst using several singers born and bred in Cape Town (as is he!).

Praise for Jervis's work:
'Who Really Freed Nelson?!'
“…incredibly moving, world-class show…”  - C.K. The Citizen
“See this show? Hell Yes!”  -A.S. The Star
“…leaves audience begging for more.”  This Day

Press & Reviews

  • Wed 13th Feb 2019 Weekend Special

    "I don’t know what to write about this one man, true-life, surreal, mystical, achingly funny show, other than I cried from laughter, wept in painful recognition, gasped in wonder and exited into a different universe than the one I arrived from tonight."

    Review of 'An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life' by Megan Furniss

Book for An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Variety Theatre (Circus, Live Music, Burlesque, Drag etc.) • Running Time: 60 mins
Vava Voom Entertainment
No under 18s

Oh Crêpe, the Gorgeous Geeks are at it again...

The Nerdlesque story continues as we enter the world of popular culinary delights, where performers add their tongue-in-cheek spin on food-love. This Foodlesque Adventure is guaranteed to be decadent, juicy, messy and just the thing to nourish your soul this December!

Cheesy, corny, salty, instantly gratifying and dangerously addictive, come salivate at our buffet of burlesque and get your sugar fix, on us!

After the successful launch of Vava Voom Entertainments' Nerdlesque Adventure series, we are excited to bring you something tastier than ever experienced on stage before!

What is Nerdlesque you may ask? It's a sub-genre of Burlesque that pays glorious tribute to cosplay, popular culture and all things considered "nerdy" in today's' society. Cult films, comic book heroes, food, anime, and social commentary acts are the name of the game; so if you're looking for a little something different for an interactive fun night out at the theatre - then this is for you!

Foodlesque celebrates everything about food that makes us happiest, trust me we have every flavour you can imagine. Come salivate at our buffet of burlesque and get your sugar fix, on us!

Book for Gorgeous Geeks in a Foodlesque Adventure by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:
Click here for a printable version of the programme. (ODT) (Print it out and give to your friends!)
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Today (Wednesday)

Tomorrow (Thursday)

Valentynsdag (nie die movie nie)
Saterdagaand by Nu Metro, twee meisies, boonop Valentynsdag at 9pm

This Friday

Valentynsdag (nie die movie nie)
Saterdagaand by Nu Metro, twee meisies, boonop Valentynsdag15 Nov at 9pm

This Saturday

Valentynsdag (nie die movie nie)
Saterdagaand by Nu Metro, twee meisies, boonop Valentynsdag16 Nov at 9pm

This Sunday

Improv Drop-In Sessions
17 Nov at 3pm 4pm
Maestro Improv ™
Improvisational comedy
17 Nov at 6pm

This Monday

Improv Comedy with The Long Shots
Improv Comedy
18 Nov at 8pm

Rest of November

The Gospel According to Jan Coetzee
Tue 19 at 7pm
Wed 20 at 7pm
Thu 21 at 7pm
Physical Theatre
Thu 21 at 9pm
Fri 22 at 9pm
Sat 23 at 9pm
Tue 26 at 9pm
Wed 27 at 9pm
Thu 28 at 9pm
Fri 29 at 9pm
Sat 30 at 9pm
Improv Drop-In Sessions
Sun 24 at 4pm
Maestro Improv ™
Improvisational comedy
Sun 24 at 6pm
An Extraordinarily Ordinary Life
Musical Theatre
Tue 26 at 7pm
Wed 27 at 7pm
Thu 28 at 7pm
Fri 29 at 7pm
Sat 30 at 7pm


Improv Drop-In Sessions
Sun 1 at 4pm
Gorgeous Geeks in a Foodlesque Adventure
Variety Theatre (Circus, Live Music, Burlesque, Drag etc.)
Cheesy, corny, salty, dangerously addictive, come salivate at our buffet of burlesque.Fri 6 at 9pm
Sat 7 at 9pm

For enquiries please call 021.300.1088.
Browse past shows here