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THE KINGMAKERS, MODERN AFRICAN and More Coming to Alexander Bar's Upstairs Theatre

Thoko Masikini in MODERN AFRICAN

A host of new shows will be running in the Upstairs theatre at the Alexander Bar and Café over the next month. An contemporary Cape Town institution, Alexander Bar attracts a mixed crowd of interesting locals young and old. The bar is filled with old-world charm and is engineered to get people talking. The fully eqipped Upstairs Theatre hosts a rotating schedule of intimate live performances - including live music, comedy, drama, play readings and more - It's like a little festival venue all year round.

THE MODERN AFRICAN is a dangerously funny satirical lecture from Thoko Masikini, who plays a tea-drinking, pompous and intellectual anglophile with some highly questionable views on African identity. Shedding light on the identity of the African in the 21st century, the show takes a look at the false assumptions that have been circulating in recent years regarding who and what the African is. The show come comes with the warning that audiences may discover hidden prejudices hidden in their own guffaws as THE MODERN AFRICAN eviscerates the absurdity of life in the shadow of colonial history. Malawian-born Maisikini has created in his anglophile professor the perfect antidote to the quest for the modern African. THE MODERN AFRICAN runs from 18 -23 August at 8pm.

THE KINGMAKERS follows a group of opposition-party strategists as they attempt to place a neutral party member in contention for leadership. After an internal power struggle leaves them out in the cold and on the fringes of the party, they come up with a plan to shape a seemingly ambition-less, but well-respected politician into a leader. With the help of a rising corporation seeking political clout and possible government contracts, the stage is set for a merciless power grab and perhaps a chance at revenge. Written and directed by Louis Viljoen, THE KINGMAKERS is designed by Greg Karvellas and performed by Pierre Malherbe, Brendon Daniels and Rebecca Makin-Taylor. THE KINGMAKERS begins its season of 7pm performances on 25 August, playing on various dates until 13 September.

Zanne Stapelberg and James Grace

CANCIONES EN ESPANOLAS (Songs in Spanish) sees Zanne Stapelberg team up with guitar virtuoso James Grace for a riveting musical experience. Popular and exotic classical music are combined in contemporary Spanish songs to form a richly textured tapestry of sound. Intense, playful, passionate and magical, the show consists of indigenous Spanish melodies by Enrique Granados and Manual de Falla, as well as music by the Argentinean tango composer Astor Piazzolla. There is also music from the soundtracks of popular movies FRIDA (Lila Downs) and DON JUAN DE MARCO (arranged by Bryan Adams), as well as a new composition by Matthys van Dijk on a poem from Pablo Neruda's BOOK OF QUESTIONS. CANCIONES EN ESPANOLAS runs for two nights, 29-30 August at 8pm.

MINNE AND JOHNSON IN STAND UP CABARET will run from 4-6 September at 9pm. Emile Minnie and Godfrey Johnson, darlings of the South African cabaret stage, will be joining forces and hands to bring audience an evening of fun, humour and fabulous songs. Fleur du Cap winner Johnson and SAMA nominee Minnie will be captivating audiences with raucous hits from the sixties to the naughties with just a piano, a clarinet and a wine glass for percussion, lighting up the stage with their humour and energy.

Laurie Levine will perform a contemporary folk music programme on 11 September at 9pm. A singer-songwriter carving out an original niche in contemporary folk music, her exciting blend of American roots music and the 'nu-folk' sound has earned her critical acclaim at home and abroad. She has earned multiple SAMA nominations, won two Standard Bank Ovation Awards and has toured the UK with an international release of her album SIX WINTERS. Her unique voice combined with her poetic and rich storytelling make her an artist of real power - melodious, soulful and captivating.

AFTER DARK: A BURLESQUE STORY is written and directed by Sapphire Supreme, St. Fox and Diva Disastar and will perform for one night only on 13 September at 9pm. Starring the Black Orchids, Diva Disastar, Miss B.have, Bon Bon and Dear James, and hosted by Tony Shine, the show invites audiences to embark on a tale of mystery and intrigue with all the razzle and dazzle of the theatre. Think femme fatales wrapped up delicately in glamour, silk and stockings, using their weapons of mass distraction to entertain and excite you!

Full schedule details are available at the Alexander Bar and Café website and tickets can also be booked online at the site.

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