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: 65 mins
Directed by Ashleigh Harvey | Written by Aimée Goldsmith and Lidija Marelic | Performed by Aimee Goldsmith, Stephen Jubber, Alistair Moulton-Black & Lamar Bonhomme
Warning: Smoking onstage

At the dawn of the Yugoslavian war, a South African photo journalist records a soon to be taboo love affair between a Serbian man and a Bosnian woman. A love affair that has blossomed from the bud of a childhood friendship. But can love survive war? Can friendship survive Sarajevo?

Praise for Cheers to Sarajevo:
'...a play that manages to portray the compromises we accept in order to survive extreme situations.' - The Critter

'It’s a play that’s both simple and complex in its clear confrontation with the universal madness of war. And it won’t leave you untouched.' - Robyn Sassen

'Judging by the way a full house audience was engaged with the play and gave it a rousing applause, I have no doubt that tonight's work in progress performances were the seeds from which a very successful production will grow. Hats off to the young company.'  - Ismail Mahomed - Artistic Director National Arts Festival.

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

Live music downstairs • Running Time: 90 mins
Various Artists

The musicians have escaped from the theatre! Every Monday we'll be featuring live music downstairs in the bar for the pleasure of your ear canals. Kick back and enjoy bands and artists like Brynn, The Stone Jets, and Mischa Ruby. The line up will be revealed weekly so keep your ears ready.

26 June 8PM - Gordon Epstein
Gordon Epstein is a songwriter, vocalist, and rhythm guitarist. His style of music is 1950's and 60's rock 'n roll. And some light jazz in between. His music appeals to people of all ages. His music influences are Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Cliff Richard, Carole King, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Neil Diamond, Amy Winehouse, and more.

Starting with his first solo live performance, on stage, at the age of 5 years old, Gordon Epstein was born to entertain. 

His music style is uplifting and catchy, and appeals to people of all ages. People can't help, but bob their head when at a Gordon Epstein gig.

He has various songs playing on radio stations in South Africa, including Zone Radio, Radio West Coast 92.3 FM, and Whale Coast 96 FM. Two of his songs, Yeah You Rock Me and Shake It Shake It, recently rose high up on the charts on Zone Radio's Top 40

Gordon Epstein performs every week at The Red Herring Restaurant in Noordhoek, Franky's Diner in Sea Point, and Under The Cypress in Kalk Bay.

He is one of Cape Town's busiest solo entertainers, and literally runs from gig to gig! He has had successful performances at The Milnerton Playhouse, Noordhoek Manor, Catharina's Restaurant, Silvermine Village, Cafe Royale, Protea Hotel Tyger Valley, The Masque Theatre, and many more.

His songs are available to stream and download at all major online music stores.

To quote The Cape Times 'Epstein Thrives On The Elvis Beat'.

Book for Live Music Mondays by clicking this button:

Cabaret • Running Time: 65 mins
Compiled and Performed by Godfrey Johnson and Nicholas McDiarmid

Godfrey Johnson and Nicholas McDiarmid, the shameless duo who brazenly made lemonade out of Drumpf & charmed audiences into the Alexander Bar with their show This is not America in January, are back by popular demand with their ever-adapting comedy, songs, wit and charm.

Johnson, South Africa’s leading Cabaret Performer, just got back from stormy Johannesburg after a stunningly received 2 week run of the run of his critically acclaimed ‘Vaslav, dazzling audiences at the Auto & General Theatre on Square with his unique brand of performance. As reported in the
Huffingtonpost by Diane de Beer. 


He is joined by pianist and writer, Nicholas McDiarmid to shower Cape Town with more songs, satire and more of their dazzling piano duets. The show will include songs by Tori Amos, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Jacques Brel and their own compositions, and added more of their singular piano acrobatics with exciting music for four hands. The show will include duets by Poulenc and Mozart.

Lurking in the shadows are the caricatures and characters, and they are all begging to see more light…come to the Alexander Bar June 26, 27 and 28 June and see what they’re been up to….

Book for Godfrey Johnson and Nicholas McDiarmid in Cabaret by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Quiz • Running Time: 90 mins
OMG Quiz Night has crash landed their trivia machine right into the belly of Alexander Bar. Every Wednesday the cosy chairs and tables of the bar get turned into your throne from which you will enter into a battle of the minds. But don't start googling general knowledge trivia answers just yet.... Among the 'what is the capital of...' this quiz has a plethora of hands-on, get-your-tastebuds-guessing, blind-fold-necessary questions. This is not just any games night, this is OMG QUIZ NIGHT AT ALEXANDER BAR. Minimum of 1 person per team (note: your name will automatically be entered as Han Solo) up to 6 players in a team. The game starts at 7:30pm sharp and finishes at 9:30pm

PS We take kindly to tweets and competitive slurs between teams.

Book for OMG Quiz Night by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Improv • Running Time: 60 mins
Performed and Created by Anne Hirsch | Tandi Buchan | Leon Clingman | Ardine Fick | Brett Fish Anderson | Megan Furniss | Jaco Griessel and James Harvey.

With over 20 years of improv experience and a huge repertoire of improv styles and formats, ImproGuise, Cape Town's wildly popular Improv troupe, brings you Pop-Up Improv, 3 favourite formats nominated by 3 of your favourite improvisers.

They start off their first of three nights with Anne Hirsch’s favourite format, TheatreSports, which promises to be night of Annebelievable fun. 

The second night is Megan Furniss’s favourite format, Tribute!

Thirdly, they perform Leon Clingman’s favourite, SuperScene. 

You will most definitely want to come to more than one of these unmissable, totally made up, hilarious and unexpected hour long performances.

The Shows:

Thursday 29 June - Anne Hirsch’s favourite format, TheatreSports, a night of Annebelievable fun. This is highly competitive, short- form improv, where teams of actors compete against each other in a series of short games based on suggestions from the audience.

“Watching Theatresports is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. But we highly encourage you to take them off as well.” Anne Hirsch

Cast: Anne Hirsch, Leon Clingman, Megan Furniss, Tandi Buchan, Ardine Fick and Brett Fish Anderson. Music by Jaco Griessel.

 Friday 30 June – Megan Furniss’ favourite and Improguise’s original format, Tribute. An improvised tribute show about a made up band, with real, made up songs based on titles from the audience. Raucous, rambunctious fun!

“I love Tribute because I get to pretend to be connected, in some way, to a band (my secret fantasy) and I get to sing their songs (regardless of the fact that I’m no great shakes as a singer). I also adore playing with everyone in this format and feeling the love from the audience. It’s a serious winner!” 
-Megan Furniss

Saturday 1 July - Leon Clingman’s favourite, SuperScene.  5 actors take to the stage and each one gets a chance to direct.  One by one the scenes are voted off by the audience, who use a clapometer. Finally there is 1 winner of the ultimate prize of “SuperScene!”

“I love SuperScene because it offers a full package of entertainment. I get to act and direct and there is so much variety in styles, genres, stories and characters, and to top it all off the audience get to decide what they see. This is a very exciting, highly entertaining and competitive format.” 
-Leon Clingman

Cast: Anne Hirsch, Leon Clingman, Megan Furniss, Tandi Buchan and Ardine Fick. Music by Jaco Griessel

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 format, TheatreSports. They have also introduced audiences to other fabulous improv formats ; some that they learned from fellow improvisers across the globe, and some that they invented themselves such as as ‘Little Space between, Soapathon, Jam Sandwich, First Kiss, Last kiss, Musical, Naked Improv, The Chair and their annual Improv fest , to name a few. They perform and teach at various theatres, schools, corporates and festivals both in South Africa and abroad. 

Book for Improguise presents Pop-Up Improv by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Live Music • Running Time: 60 mins
Written and performed by Spenelo | Riaan Oppelt on bass | Lead guitarist Robin Lang | Bert Zona on Drums

Get taken on a musical journey through the mind of Spenelo. Filled with Ballads, tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, and up-beat dedications to muses as he, with the assistance of his band, MakeShifte, paint a tapestry of memorable stories through song and stories about Life, Love and Lust.

Spenelo has been singing and playing music seriously from the year 2000, as a songwriter and vocalist he has performed and recorded in studio professionally for a many years and in his band, MakeShifte, has been forging ahead a indie-rock sound. He is joined by fellow experienced instrumentalists, Robin Lang and Riaan Oppelt who themselves have impressive histories and experience in performing live and in studio. Joining them is young and energetic drummer Bert Zona whose energy and knowledge of music has been refreshing to the group.

Book for Life, Love, Lust by clicking this button:

Burlesque • Running Time: 60 mins
Black Orchid Burlesque S.A.

Everybody knows that Black Orchid Burlesque SA is notorious for props and gimmicks in their acts, so we decided to take them away. The challenge is to create a performance piece that pays homage to the roots of burlesque and the quintessential essence of the cheeky bumps and grinds, the delightful tease of a seductive stocking peel and the power of a coy smile ,that can convey so much about a performer, while still concealing just enough to captivate imaginations. 

Diva Disastar and King St. FOX like to challenge their performers to experiment in all the genres and styles the burlesque world has to offer. Through this process they may discover a niche` in this multifaceted world of burlesque that transforms them into a force to be reckoned with in South African Burlesque, and with the right drive internationally too! 

And so, “Stripped Bare!” was created.

“The mark of a true burlesque performance is, knowing how to expose it all by showing not only fierce sexuality but also vulnerability as a performer who publically displays their art form through the use of their bodies. “ – Diva Disastar - \"S.A.\'s Dame of Burlesque\" and Headmistress of Black Orchid’s Burlesque Academy

“Stripped Bare!” is an intimate burlesque show being hosted at the well-known, and loved, Alexander Bar, Café and Theatre. Performers will showcase solo performances focused purely on the traditional art form of burlesque and striptease, pre 1950’s. Music can range from instrumental to modern without the weird and wonderful; however they won’t have the added distraction of props and gimmicks to beguile their audiences, as it’s all about how they can burlesque! 

We invite you to join us on the 10th, 11th and 12th July, and let us tweak your senses and titillate your mind with beautiful burlesque and boylesque performance art! 

Please note: R.O.A.R.
This is an adult themed show - Yes, the clothes come off! No, there is no full nudity! Our ladies and gents are classy! 

Book for Stripped Bare! by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Drama • Running Time: 50 mins
Written and Directed by Mandla Mpanjukelwa | Performed by Luke Buys
Warning: Mature content

Recognising nothing is something, no one is born to be nothing but when nothingness overwhelms reality man finds himself in a constant battle to thrive. The 2017 AKOF winning show Confessions, follows the story of a young gang member Kz, who is the last man standing of his gang. He is not a full blown gangster but a mere member, a membership which has cost him his friends, family and is about to cost him his life as he finds himself stuck in a nightmare that is quickly catching up with his reality. 

Atrocities take place outside our doorsteps daily, these are stories of gangs, child mutilations, gang rapes, killings etcetera. Stories we wake up to see in front page newspaper articles. In a quest of finding out what, why and how these atrocities take place and what the perpetrators say when asked, why, how people commit such atrocities unto to others and walk away without an ounce of guilt and remorse (in most cases) the director followed some of these cases in their court trials and listened to their testimonies. With this and a series of interviews conducted with gangs from the Cape Flats, Confessions explores what drives these people, how do they think, plan and deal with the consequences, however also paying attention to their socio economic and political standing. The show attempts mapping through the psych of criminology in the modern and postmodern South Africa.  

Confessions explores what drives humans to committing grave, unforgivable atrocities to each other through the mind of a criminal.

Mandla Mpanjukelwa is an Acting BA Theatre and Performance Graduate from UCT and a founding member of Sizile Arts Collective. Mandla both writes and directs. He performed in this year’s Maynardville production of Twelfth Night (2017) directed by Geoffrey Hyland. He is also the 2017 AKOF theatre festival winner, the 2015 recipient of the most promising director award at the UCT Inter-res Theatre festival as well as best actor award recipient for the short film “Tainted Blood”. The Born and bred Capetonian finds his voice through performance art and uses it as a vehicle of communication.

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

Poetry Showcase • Running Time: 90 mins
Host Evile Manqoba (CPT) & Co-host Nkunzi-101 (JHB) | featuring: Xabiso Vili, Blaze The Poet, Thapelo Naked Soul, Kagiso Tshepe (Ellysium Garcia), Bonga Ndziweni, Mnqobi Da Zulu Poet, Fikile Fifi & Roach
Warning: High Music Volume

Brought together by Luxolo Ngqunge (aka LAST POET) the event is  an explosion of Joburg talent in Cape Town. An unmissable opportunity to connect to the hottest voices in the poetry scene.

Luxolo hails from the dusty streets of Motherwell. NU5 Port Elizabeth is a Poet who is famous for his piece titled 'Blood, Sweat and Tears' has made appearances on Shizniz for Repepper Studios, Switch TV by Bubblegum Production, and more. An actor who is famous for his role as Kwanele the corrupt security guard on Skeem Saam on SABC 1, and will be making his appearance on his first International feature with The Wound.

As an events coordinator/promoter and found home in both Cape Town and Johannesburg's poetry scene he has hosted numerous events under his poetry   movement 'Rhythm 'N Poetry' and has featured a few of SA Poetry's veterans such as Afurakan, Koleka Putuma, Donald Neosapien, and Pilgrim.

Book for Last Poet presents Joburg Meets Cape Town by clicking this button:

Cabaret • Running Time: 55 mins
Written by Sue Pam-Grant and Sheena Stannard | Adapted and directed by Kei-Ella Loewe | Performed by Jamie-Lee Money & Donna Cormack-Thomson
Warning: Smoking on stage

The Virgin and the Whore. The Hipster and the Basic Bitch. Two waitresses prepare themselves for another nauseating night on the battlefields of the Horrifying Hospitalica. Armed with toothpick, their razor-sharp wit, and ripe suckable tits, they don their aprons, pull up their fishnets and serve themselves up hot. 

A feminist cabaret that will make dads cry and f*ck boyz cower. A comedy. A seduction. A spank on the arse of the patriarchy. A ritual. A battle-cry. 

In Whorefish Bloomers: The Waitresses' Lament is an adaptation and re-imaging of Sue Pam-Grant and Sheena Stannard's 1980s underground feminist cabaret. Exhumed from the back of Stannard’s sewing cupboard and presented again for audiences, two young Cape Town actresses take on Lori and Beth, waitresses on their first night at a new job. A collection of episodes stuffed with humour, word play, cheesy dance moves, a sprinkle of song and a drizzle of darkness.

Jamie, Donna and Kei-Ella have been working together since their 1st year of theatre and performance studies at the UCT Drama Dept.

Kei-Ella is a director, stage-manager, techie, visual artist and craft extraordinaire. She directed throughout university, including Don’t Shoot the Harbinger! which won Best New Script at the NAF Student Program in 2015 and Monster, a visual theatre collaboration with Jamie and Donna which was created at university and performed again at the Cape Town Fringe Festival 2016. She was awarded the Mavis Taylor Theatre-Making Award and the class medal in 2015 for her efforts. She presented her second collaboration with Jamie and Donna In Whorefish Bloomers: The Waitresses’ Lament in May this year. She was a waitress and now works for the UCT Drama Dept. as the Senior Stage Manager.

Other than working with her two favourite people, Donna Cormack-Thomson has performed on film and on stage. Including The White Whore and The Bit Player directed by Chris Weare, in Anthology: After The End written by Nicholas Spagnioletti, Jon Keevy, Louis Viljoen, and directed by Louis Viljoen and in a sold-out run of Bad Jews written by Joshua Harmon and directed by Greg Karvellas at The Fugard Theatre.

Jamie-Lee has gained experience acting on film and television series, some of which will be releasing late 2017 and early 2018 on BBC and Cinema. She been involved in more than just acting but also in admin, technical and casting sides for film. She works part time at the Alexander Bar.

Book for In Whorefish Bloomers: The Waitresses' Lament by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Kamishibai Memoir • Running Time: 80 mins
Written by Jemma Kahn and Tertius Kapp | Directed by Jane Taylor | Illustrated and performed by Jemma Kahn | Sound Design by Charl Johan Lingenfelder | Lighting Desgn by Themba Stewart | Costumes by Ella Buter
What could follow The Epicene Butcher and We Didn't Come to Hell for the Croissants? In bocca al lupo, Jemma Kahn's third kamishibai show: a graphic and candid and whimsical journey across three continents, using four story boxes, one giant cicada, a naked Catholic (or two) and one golden surprise.

Using simple but beautifully drawn images displayed on cardboard story panels, Jemma Kahn has spent the last four years captivating audiences from Alexander Bar to Edinburgh to Amsterdam with her unique take on the 12th century Japanese art form 'kamishibai'. The effect is like watching a sort of live Manga cartoon, her sheer verve in combination with all the elements at play create an utterly original and sometimes bizarre theatre experience, a joyous tribute to visual and verbal storytelling.

Premiered at the National Arts Festival 2016 | Produced by POPArt Productions and Jemma Kahn, in association with the National Arts Festival and Arts and Culture Trust and Nedbank Arts Affinity. 
In bocca al lupo like Kahn's two shows before it, brings together a truly wonderful creative team. And like the two shows before it, In bocca al lupo is not for the faint hearted or the easily offended.

Jane Taylor:  writer, Ubu and the Truth Commission (1997), writer Wild Dogs (winner of the Olive Schreiner Prize 2006), director After Cardenio (2011)

Tertius Kapp: theatre, Rooiland (Fleur Du Cap, Smeltkroes & Fiesta Awards 2013), Oorsee (Smeltkroes, 2014). Kapp won the Herzog Prize for theatrical work in 2015. His screen adaptation Dis ek, Anna won the SAFTA for best script in 2015 as well as the Silwerskerm for Best Picture.

Press & Reviews

Book for In bocca al lupo by clicking the button of the date and time you wish to attend:

Sleight of Hand • Running Time: 75 mins
Written and performed by Stuart Lightbody and directed by Tara Notcutt

The magicians' secret world exists behind locked doors, Stuart Lightbody offers you a key. Spend an evening inside Stuart's mind, a place full of fading memories where strange impossibilities lurk. Each night the audience chooses exactly which wonders unfold, so no two performances are alike and anything could happen. Welcome to "Unique Wonders".

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

lo-fi folk • Running Time: 60 mins
Simon Tamblyn - Guitar & vocals | Mandisi Nkomo - Drums | Helen Westcott on Bass | Catherine Schenck on Cello

TH&S are back at Alexander Bar again. With some new music imbued with their good kind of sadness coupled with punfully bad jokes that you shouldn't have to listen to. Tape Hiss and Sparkle is lo-fi, off-beat, alternative folk music

Book for Tape Hiss and Sparkle by clicking this button:
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Today (Monday)

Cheers to Sarajevo
Can love survive war? Can friendship survive Sarajevo? at 7pm
Live Music Mondays
Live music downstairs
at 8pm

Tomorrow (Tuesday)

Cheers to Sarajevo
Can love survive war? Can friendship survive Sarajevo? at 7pm

This Wednesday

Cheers to Sarajevo
Can love survive war? Can friendship survive Sarajevo?28 Jun at 7pm
OMG Quiz Night
28 Jun at 7pm

This Thursday

Cheers to Sarajevo
Can love survive war? Can friendship survive Sarajevo?29 Jun at 7pm

This Friday

Cheers to Sarajevo
Can love survive war? Can friendship survive Sarajevo?30 Jun at 7pm

This Saturday

Cheers to Sarajevo
Can love survive war? Can friendship survive Sarajevo?1 Jul at 7pm

Rest of July

Cheers to Sarajevo
Can love survive war? Can friendship survive Sarajevo?Mon 3 at 7pm
Tue 4 at 7pm
Wed 5 at 7pm
Thu 6 at 7pm
Fri 7 at 7pm
Sat 8 at 7pm
OMG Quiz Night
Wed 5 at 7pm
Life, Love, Lust
Live Music
Sun 9 at 7pm
Stripped Bare!
Mon 10 at 7pm
Tue 11 at 7pm
Wed 12 at 7pm
Thu 13 at 7pm
Fri 14 at 7pm
Sat 15 at 7pm
Last Poet presents Joburg Meets Cape Town
Poetry Showcase
Sat 15 at 2pm
In Whorefish Bloomers: The Waitresses' Lament
Mon 17 at 9pm
Tue 18 at 9pm
Wed 19 at 9pm
Thu 20 at 9pm
Fri 21 at 9pm
Sat 22 at 9pm
In bocca al lupo
Kamishibai Memoir
Mon 24 at 7pm
Tue 25 at 7pm
Wed 26 at 7pm
Thu 27 at 7pm
Fri 28 at 7pm
Sat 29 at 7pm
Unique Wonders
Sleight of Hand
Mon 31 at 9pm


Unique Wonders
Sleight of Hand
Tue 1 at 9pm
Wed 2 at 9pm
Thu 3 at 9pm
Fri 4 at 9pm
Sat 5 at 9pm
Mon 7 at 9pm
Tue 8 at 9pm
Wed 9 at 9pm
Thu 10 at 9pm
Fri 11 at 9pm
Sat 12 at 9pm
Mon 14 at 9pm
Tue 15 at 9pm
Wed 16 at 9pm
Thu 17 at 9pm
Fri 18 at 9pm
Sat 19 at 9pm
Tape Hiss and Sparkle
lo-fi folk
Fri 25 at 8pm

For enquiries please call 021.300.1652.
Browse past shows here