Who’s Upstairs: Aletia Upstairs

Aletia with guitarAletia Upstairs will be performing in Urban Gypsies at Alexander Upstairs on the 23rd of December.

Home town?
I was born in Stellenbosch and grew up in Bellville.

Tell us a little more about your show?
Urban Gypsies: London – Cape Town – Berlin is kind of the best of Aletia and Sigrun over ten years. We continue making music, doing shows and even recording albums, while living in different countries.

And what’s next on the cards for you?
I am going back to London to work on a cabaret collaboration with a performer called Dr Woof, to work on my Demarco Edinburgh Fringe 2016 project with the MA students at the University of Leeds Beckett, to host a regular cabaret night and to continue working on my PhD about the Richard Demarco Archive.

And the project you’re dreaming of?
Hmmm…the above, for the moment. And I would like to get involved in community projects here. I am busy setting that in motion.

How did you get into theatre?
I went to UCT Drama School and Stellenbosch Drama Department — I got the best of both worlds by spending two years at each.

Dinner with any two figures from history: who would you invite and what would you serve them?
Nelson Mandela, because I wish I’d met him and Joseph Beuys. I have no idea about food; I’m not a foodie. I’ll serve them ideas…or rather they’ll serve me ideas.

Favorite spot in Cape Town (besides Alexander Bar, obviously)?
I haven’t lived in Cape Town for SO long, that’s a hard one. My heart is here, somewhere between the mountain and the sea.

What excites you about theatre ? Performing live is really rewarding. We are blessed to be able to do it and get paid for it. Participatory performance really excites me and cabaret, or well…most of the performing I do, whether cabaret or not, gives me that.

What mistakes have you made and learned the most from?
I stopped playing piano in Standard 6 due to a horrible teacher, but I discovered visual arts and theatre instead and eventually managed to get myself back to music and merge all the arts in my work.

Who do you think people should be talking about?
I listened to Stef Bos’ Kaalvoet album at the weekend and fell in love with some songs on it, and Francois Van Coke, who doesn’t need the publicity, has made a fantastic first solo album.