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: 60 mins
Written & directed by Louis Viljoen | Performed by Emily Child & Nicholas Pauling
The play contains strong language and sexual content | For a full trigger warning list please contact upstairs@alexanderbar.co.za

The Hucksters is an acid-tongued exploration of a casual sexual encounter gone awry. A man and a woman meet after not seeing each other for years and what starts off as a romantic, booze fueled evening, slowly begins to unravel into a psychological mystery as an incident from their shared history rears its head. The mistakes of the past become the horrors of the present as these two broken people dig into their previous lives and the lies that lead them to each other.

The play is written and directed by Louis Viljoen (The Kingmakers, The Pervert Laura, The Demon Bride) and stars award winning actors Emily Child (The Pervert Laura, The Road To Mecca , Contractions) and Nicholas Pauling (A Steady Rain, Blue/Orange, The Father).

Louis Viljoen - Writer/Director
Louis Viljoen is a Cape Town based playwright and director. He has written and produced numerous plays including, The Bile Boys, The Frontiersmen, The Verbalists, Champ, Porno 88, The Kingmakers, The Pervert Laura, Oh Baby, I’m A Wild One, The Emissary, The Eulogists and The Demon Bride. He is also the writer of Rob van Vuuren’s internationally acclaimed one-man show, Dangled, which was invited to the 2017 Brighton Fringe Festival. Viljoen has won Fleur Du Cap Theatre awards (Best New South African Script) for Champ (2013) and The Kingmakers (2015). He was the recipient of the Rosalie van Der Gucht Best New Director award for his plays, The Kingmakers and The Pervert Laura.

Emily Child - Performer
Emily 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 Cape Town based theatre troupe – The Mechanicals. Her work has garnered her numerous awards and nominations including the 2015 Fleur Du Cap for Best Actress for the role of “Laura” in Louis Viljoen’s The Pervert Laura last staged at the The Fugard Theatre. Other theatre projects include Lear, written by William Shakespeare and directed by Guy De Lancey, Champ, written by Louis Viljoen and directed by Greg Karvellas, which travelled to the Edinburgh Festival in 2013, as well as LA based Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre and The Mechanicals’ co-production Urban Death, directed by Jana Wimer. Emily’s one -woman show, based on Dorothy Parker’s short stories, A Certain Lady was directed by Greg Karvellas and performed around Cape Town in 2014. Emily was recently seen at The Baxter Studio Theatre, Grahamstown and Hilton Festivals in Born in the RSA, directed by Thoko Ntshinga as well as Mike Bartlett’s Contractions, at The Alexander Bar’s Upstairs Theatre, directed by Greg Karvellas in February 2016. In 2018 she worked with Karvellas again on Athol Fugard’s Road to Mecca at the Fugard Theatre with Sandra Prinsloo and Marius Weyers.  Emily’s recent  film  projects include Beyond the River, directed by Craig Freimond,  and most recently, BBC‘s television series Troy - Fall Of A City  as well as  the HBO series - Warrior- conceptualized by Bruce Lee and to be released in 2019.

Nicholas Pauling - Performer
Nicholas has appeared in A Steady Rain, The Pervert Laura, Blue/Orange, Champ, The Fontiersmen, Epstein, Twelfth Night and Shakespeare in Love. He toured the UK with The Tempest and Hamlet at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Canada with Waiting for the Barbarians, and the United States with a production of The 39 Steps. Nicholas won the 2007 Fleur Du Cap Award for Best Actor for his role as Mozart in Amadeus. His television credits include Black Sails, Dominion, You Me and the Apocalypse, Bluestone 42, Book of Negroes and most recently the HBO series Warrior. His film credits include Black Butterflies, Doomsday, Death Race 2, Challenger and was recently seen in The Dark Tower with Matthew McConaughey.




Book for The Hucksters 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. And they will be a lot harder. So strap your smarty-pants on over your party-pants because 'Let's Get Quizzical' isn't your ordinary pub quiz. Stock up on strange facts! Prepare for Quiz masters with sexy voices! Thirst for spot prizes that almost 100% will be liquid! And of course there'll be quirky formats and categories like 'Um, Actually' and 'Famous Cats'!
Watch out for our Specialist Nights when we focus on categories like Film & TV or Music.

Ready? Then Let's Get Quizzical!

Kindly note: Quiz tickets are per person (not per team)

Rules:
Each team must 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 encyclopedias!




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

Improvisational comedy • Running Time: 60 mins
Created, directed & performed by The ImproGuise Ensemble
Running time may vary

ImproGuise are back by popular demand with their favourite kind of long form improv entertainment: The Style High Club. With its movie themed improv, you'll be treated to five nights of improvised movies like you’ve never seen them before – because you’ve never seen them before! Crazy, Hilarious and brilliant fun!

ImproGuise are Cape Town’s oldest and favourite improv troupe and they love giving audiences what they love – brilliant, unique and entertaining improv that excites and delights. Click on 'read more' to find out who and what you can expect on each night.

Tuesday 30th July: Night at the Movies
Scenes from movies, interviews with casts and directors, songs, deleted scenes, strange props, weird birds, curious special effects created live.
Cast: Anne Hirsch, Ryan Jales, Brett Anderson, Leon Clingman, Pete Faure, Keren Lindley, Troydan Berg and Dave Campbell Watts. Music by Godfrey Johnson

Wednesday 31st July: Seep
South African Soap will never be the same after ImproGuise gets hold of it. Slippery, saucy, strange and scandalous made up soap drama that will keep you wondering where that came from, and where it will go.
Cast: Anne Hirsch, Ryan Jales, Tandi Buchan, Megan Furniss, Leon Clingman, Pete Faure, Brett Anderson and Troydan Berg Music by Godfrey Johnson

Thursday 1st August: Senseless and Spontaneity – A Jane Austen inspired period drama
Time turns slowly. Each little rustle of emotion is deeply felt. A fluttering of the heart, a romantic disappointment, a turn about the garden. Tender and witty improv.
Cast: Anne Hirsch, Ryan Jales, Megan Furniss, Brett Anderson, Tandi Buchan, Leon Clingman, Pete Faure. Music by Godfrey Johnson

Friday 2nd August: Film Noir
The Big… an improvised film noir. Inspired by the much loved 1940s film genre, the actors explore the detective film with its hard boiled PIs, sultry back-stabbing dames and seedy criminals in a shadowy world. Suspense filled improvised drama.
Cast: Brett Anderson, Megan Furniss, Tandi Buchan, Ryan Jales, Leon Clingman, Pete Faure, Keren Lindley and Music by Godfrey Johnson

Saturday 3rd August: Best of the Fest
A critic looks back at the highs and the lows and everything in between, with scenes from the movies that featured in the festival. Real flashbacks, award winning scenes, stand out performances and surprising cameos. Let’s face it, nobody knows what will happen on the night.
Cast: Megan Furniss, Brett Anderson, Ryan Jales, Leon Clingman, Pete Faure, Keren Lindley and Dave Campbell Watts. Music by Godfrey Johnson

ImproGuise, Cape Town's longest-running, award-winning, Improv Company have been performing continuously in Cape Town and around the country for the past 23 years, bringing you the internationally recognised short form Improv, TheatreSports. They have also introduced audiences to other fabulous Long form improv formats; some that they learned from fellow improvisers across the globe, and some that they invented themselves such as: Superscene, On the couch, Period drama, Improvised Chekov, Tribute, Little Space between, Soapathon, Jam Sandwich, First Kiss, Last kiss, Musical, Naked Improv, The Chair, Stuck in the Middle, Wordplay and their annual Improv fest, to name but a few. They perform and teach at various theatres, schools, corporates and festivals both in South Africa and abroad.




Book for ImproGuise presents: The Style High Club by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Theatre • Running Time: 80 mins
Directed by Jaco Bouwer | Written by Jemma Kahn | Design by Rocco Pool | Pictures by Rocco Pool & Jemma Kahn | Performed by Jemma Kahn & David Viviers

Only one person is known to have survived full-blown rabies, by undergoing a radical form of treatment called The Milwaukee Protocol. In this romantic tragedy loosely based in the sciences, Virologist Joan Remy is extremely skeptical of the Milwaukee Protocol. She is also in love with rabies.

Jemma Kahn’s utterly unique visual style has been a hit nationally, internationally and most particularly at Alexander Bar. Kahn returns gleefully to Alexander Upstairs in collaboration with South African theatre’s preeminent auteur, director Jaco Bouwer.

Virus:
What does it feel like?

Joanie:
Sex or skin?

Virus:
Both. Skin.

Joanie:
It’s warm, obviously. Warm and smooth... like... an apricot that has been micro-waved for ten seconds. 

Virus:
I have no idea what you are talking about. An apricot?

Cellist With Rabies is a new work commissioned in 2019 by the National Arts Festival in collaboration with Toyota US Woordfees. Come and see it intimate and unplugged at your favourite performance venue in Cape Town. 

The play marries the visual styles of the Futurist Jaco Bouwer and Luddite Jemma Kahn. Separately Kahn and Bouwer have proven time and again to be most original theatre makers. Neither are afraid to experiment or offend. Both artists are recipients of the prestigious Standard Bank Young Artist Award. Bouwer has won numerous Fleur du Cap Awards for his work. Kahn...has never won a Fleur du Cap. Ag shame. These two voices come together for the first time to tell a love story between a scientist and a virus.

Press & Reviews




Book for Cellist With Rabies by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Drama • Running Time: 60 mins
Written and Directed by Dara Beth | Performed by Mamello Makhetha, Jaimie Davids, Loren Loubser, Robyn Paterson | Presented by The Furies
Profanity

If you really love Greek mythology, the old Divas of WWE or trashing other womxn then this is probably not the play for you. But if you love the Kardashians, candid CNN interviews, gold (everywhere), spelling womxn with an “x” and smashing the patriarchy one rape-culture-drenched mythological origin story at a time then this might just be your cup of tea. Drawing from the Greek mythologies of Persephone, Medusa and other not so well-known characters, Nasty Womxn is a collection of sketches about contemporary womxn just trying to get from day to day.

Dara Beth is first and foremost an angry, Jewish feminist. Secondly, she is one half of the cabaret duo “Plumsong”, which she has been performing as since 2011 with mom and fellow performer, Sharyn Seidel. Dara completed UCT’s Theatre and Performance programme this January (for which she received the class medal for theatre-making, the Ruth Peffer’s Prize and distinctions in Drama). Since graduating, Dara has written and performed in “Just a Song and a Dance” with co-performer Sharyn at the Alexander Bar and National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. Dara has also worked as a stage manager on Wessel Pretorius’s “Klara Maas Se Hart Is Gebreek” (2017) and “Die Ontelbare 48” (2017), Ameera Conrad’s “Reparation” (2017) and Jon Keevy’s “The Underground Library” for ASSITEJ’s Cradle of Creativity (2017). During her studies, Dara also directed her class’s production of “Figs” (2016) for the National Arts Festival’s Student Festival at which she was nominated for Best Student Director. Dara also makes up one third of The Furies, a womxn-centric artistic co-op with whose help she will be staging her first second original production of 2017, “Nasty Womxn”.

Press & Reviews

  • Mon 13th Nov 2017 Blogs

    "You will laugh, but the play is undeniably a tragedy. The characters are inspired by well known public figures, the goddesses, and everyday womxn. Think Medusa and Persephone meeting with The Kardashians and “Small Town Anne”; in a universe made of gold, glitter, and unapologetic inter-sectional feminism."

    Review of 'Nasty Womxn' by Misa Makwakwa Masokameng

  • Sun 5th Nov 2017 Theatre Scene CPT

    "Masali Baduza, Kathleen Stephens, and Maria Vos balance each other well in presence, attitude, and performance style – each bringing a unique perspective to this piece. I cannot imagine anyone else portraying their multitude of roles with the natural onstage intuition and chemistry they have. Their characters address a range of issues, from identity and stereotypes to body autonomy, with a strong feminist spirit."

    Review of 'Nasty Womxn' by Barbara Loots




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

Immersive Dinner Theatre • Running Time: 180 mins
Performed and presented by Rowan and Danielle Studti

Chief of Police Lauren Law and Detective Lee Justice lead their guests in a murder investigation over a mouth-watering meal. Guests are given character briefs and play the suspects at the event. They have to analyse the evidence, consider clues and investigate each other in order to absolve themselves. Depending on the script, there are 8 suspects at each table, one of whom is the murderer… You can either book a full table or be adventurous and meet new people!

How it works:
Each game ticket includes a scrumptious 3-course meal - a soup starter, followed by your choice of main (beef, chicken, veggie or vegan options) and finished off with dessert. Excludes drinks. You'll be prompted to select your seats  at either the red or blue table when you book. If you're getting your friends to book for themselves tell them which colour table to book at but hurry cos it's first-come-first-serve! Please note that this event takes place downstairs while upstairs the theatre continues to operate so there will be a 15 min break to allow for theatre patrons to enter/exit the venue (good for smoke-breaks and chat breaks!). Expect the event to wrap up by around 10pm.

Melee Vineyards in the Nippy Valley celebrated the winery’s 10th anniversary last night, over a selection of Europe’s finest cheese and a glass of its world famous Melee Cabernet, which tickled the palates of wine connoisseurs across the globe, and has brought immense pride to owner Malcolm Melee. However, over the past decade, the winery’s outstanding achievements and the owner’s curt personality have brought both rivals and advocates. The celebration was open to the public and attracted Melee’s admirers and foes alike, some of whom openly expressed their opinions about his supposedly underhand business practices. Nonetheless, Melee simply shrugged off the negative words and dismissed the notion that someone was determined to end his reign as cabernet king. Around midnight as the event came to a close; Melee bid farewell to everyone and said he would stay around to turn off the lights. However, this morning, things had taken a deadly turn as someone had planned lights out for Malcolm Melee, for his body was found at the bottom of the staircase that leads to the oak casks in the wine cellar. Someone had put the cork on Melee and the consequences could be detrimental to the winery’s reputation.




Book for Dinners to Die For by clicking this button:
Thu 29th Aug 7pm: Sorry, sold out

Solo Drama • Running Time: 70 mins
Written by Adam Rapp | Directed by Emily Child | Performed by Francis Chouler
The South African premier of Nocturne is by arrangement with United Artists

15 years ago, in Joliet, Illinois, a 17 year teenager accidentally runs over and kills his 9 year old sister in a ’69 Buick Electra while driving home from his summer job. The event cracks his life wide open. As the unnamed narrator flees his childhood home to restart his life in a bookshop in New York City, he has nothing but old memories and new books to rebuild his world.

NOCTURNE is the honest and unconventionally moving story of a man dealing with the effects of a life altering incident. It is a clear, arresting recollection of love, hilarity and pain as well as a boldly inspiring reminder of what it is to be human.

Praise for Nocturne:

“Rapp… is an ambitious and prodigiously talented writer” - Charles Isherwood, Variety.

“There is an undeniable, cumulative power to the writing here” - Bruce Weber, The New York Times.

“At once beautiful and haunting, compelling and agonising… a bold, elegant and even funny exploration of how a single moment as the power both to connect us and chance our lives.” - Mark de la Vina, San Jose Mercury News.

Adam Rapp (Playwright)
Adam Rapp is an American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, musician and film director. His play, Red Light Winter, was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2006. Nocturne was first staged in 2001 at the New York Theatre Workshop. Nocturne was awarded Boston’s Elliot Norton Award for Best New Script as well as Best New Play by the independent Reviewers of New England. It was chosen as one of the ten “Best Plays of 2000-2001 by the annual Chronicle of U.S Theatre.

Francis Chouler (Performer)
Francis received his honours degree in Theatre and Performance, cum laude from the University of Cape Town in 2010. He has appeared in four seasons of Shakespeare at Maynardville Open Air theatre (Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Taming of the Shrew and Cardenio). He performed together with Emily Child in Born in The RSA (Baxter Studio Theatre, National Arts Festival, Hilton Festival) directed by Thoko Ntshinga. Francis has performed at the Alexander Bar theatre in Cock by Mike Bartlett and Over There by Mark Ravenhill directed by Fred Abrahamse. Francis is a member of The Long Shots Improv comedy troupe, and performs regularly at the Alexander bar and other venues in the city. This is his first solo theatre show.

Emily Child (Director)
Emily 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 Cape Town based theatre troupe – The Mechanicals. Her work has garnered her numerous awards and nominations including the 2015 Fleur Du Cap for Best Actress for the role of “Laura” in Louis Viljoen’s The Pervert Laura last staged at the The Fugard Theatre. Other theatre projects include Lear, written by William Shakespeare and directed by Guy De Lancey, Champ, written by Louis Viljoen and directed by Greg Karvellas, which travelled to the Edinburgh Festival in 2013, as well as LA based Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre and The Mechanicals’ co-production Urban Death, directed by Jana Wimer. Emily’s one -woman show, based on Dorothy Parker’s short stories, A Certain Lady was directed by Greg Karvellas and performed around Cape Town in 2014. Emily was recently seen at The Baxter Studio Theatre, Grahamstown and Hilton Festivals in Born in the RSA, directed by Thoko Ntshinga as well as Mike Bartlett’s Contractions, at The Alexander Bar’s Upstairs Theatre, directed by Greg Karvellas in February 2016. In 2018 she worked with Karvellas again on Athol Fugard’s Road to Mecca at the Fugard Theatre with Sandra Prinsloo and Marius Weyers.  Emily’s recent  film projects include Beyond the River, directed by Craig Freimond,  and most recently, BBC‘s television series Troy - Fall Of A City  as well as  the HBO series - Warrior- conceptualized by Bruce Lee and released in 2019. Nocturne is her directorial debut.




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

Today (Tuesday)


The Hucksters
Drama
at 7pm

Tomorrow (Wednesday)


The Hucksters
Drama
at 7pm
Let's Get Quizzical
Pub Quiz
at 7pm

This Thursday


The Hucksters
Drama
25 Jul at 7pm

This Friday


The Hucksters
Drama
26 Jul at 7pm

This Saturday


The Hucksters
Drama
27 Jul at 7pm

Rest of July


The Hucksters
Drama
Mon 29 at 7pm
Tue 30 at 7pm
Wed 31 at 7pm
ImproGuise presents: The Style High Club
Improvisational comedy
Tue 30 at 9pm
Wed 31 at 9pm
Let's Get Quizzical
Pub Quiz
Wed 31 at 7pm

August


The Hucksters
Drama
Thu 1 at 7pm
Fri 2 at 7pm
Sat 3 at 7pm
ImproGuise presents: The Style High Club
Improvisational comedy
Thu 1 at 9pm
Fri 2 at 9pm
Sat 3 at 9pm
Cellist With Rabies
Theatre
Tue 6 at 8pm
Wed 7 at 8pm
Thu 8 at 8pm
Fri 9 at 8pm
Sat 10 at 8pm
Mon 12 at 8pm
Tue 13 at 8pm
Wed 14 at 8pm
Thu 15 at 8pm
Fri 16 at 8pm
Sat 17 at 8pm
Let's Get Quizzical
Pub Quiz
Wed 7 at 7pm
Nasty Womxn
Drama
Mon 19 at 9pm
Tue 20 at 9pm
Wed 21 at 9pm
Thu 22 at 9pm
Fri 23 at 9pm
Sat 24 at 9pm
Dinners to Die For
Immersive Dinner Theatre
Thu 29 at 7pm

September


Nocturne
Solo Drama
Tue 10 at 7pm
Wed 11 at 7pm
Thu 12 at 7pm
Fri 13 at 7pm
Sat 14 at 7pm
Tue 17 at 7pm
Wed 18 at 7pm
Thu 19 at 7pm
Fri 20 at 7pm
Sat 21 at 4pm 7pm

For enquiries please call 021.300.1652.
Browse past shows here