Mata Hari

Sat 3rd – Sat 24th Aug 2013


“"You are probably critical of a woman like me."”





Aletia Upstairs


“I’ll know how to die.”

Mata Hari, courtesan/exotic dancer, was a notorious and intriguing figure, and the most famous femme fatale of her day. In 1917, she was imprisoned, accused of espionage during WWI. Awaiting death by French firing squad, she reflects on her life.

“Mata Hari” means, in Malay, Eye of the Day: the sun. London-based cabaret artist Aletia Upstairs investigates and illuminates how Dutch-born wife Margaretha Geertruida Zelle re-invented herself as Mata Hari: woman of mystery, the first exotic dancer of Europe, and a beautiful courtesan who entertained men.

"You are probably critical of a woman like me."

We see Mata Hari’s art of seduction, inspired by Indonesian temple dance, complete with veils and exotic headpieces and famous breastplates.

"I learned two things in Indonesia: the power of my beauty over men, and the power of a dance…with every veil I threw off, my success rose.”

Based on verbatim words taken from letters and interviews with the real Mata Hari, this cabaret is interspersed with songs and dance by Aletia Upstairs (“Knows how to own a stage…her style was refreshing…moody and beautiful” - South African Newspaper).

The eloquent and exotic Aletia Upstairs brings insight and seduction to her solo show about the ultimate femme fatale who paid the ultimate price.

Admission: Free

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