So everything that I said in yesterday’s post would happen has happened. The council house was overrun by teenagers. They all looked very smart in their school uniforms and those whose schools didn’t have uniforms still looked smart. It was a fantastic mix of young people from across the city and although, predictably, things were a little tentative initially people soon started warming up. Continue reading “Mayor Meets the Mayor” »
So the Trailblazers’ map has been published and today it will be presented by 2030’s Executive Mayor of Birmingham to the current incumbent The Right Worshipful, The Lord Mayor, Councillor Raymond Hassall. Continue reading “Trailblazers: In A Visible City” »
I live in fear of Tim Harford. He hosts the Radio 4 and BBC World Service program More Or Less. The premise of this brilliant programme is that they interrogate statistics that have entered the public realm but sound a bit dubious. Classically it is politicians who are subject to fact checking but the programme’s range is broad, it’s up-beat and playful; Tim Harford is fantastic but he terrifies me. Continue reading “How To Do It” »
Image: Graeme Braidwood
People often ask us: “How can I join Stan’s Cafe?” One way to get involved is to come and audition for our shows. We are excited to announce that we are on the hunt for two female performers to join Stan’s Cafe’s latest project: MADE UP.
MADE UP is a collaboration between Stan’s Cafe and a theatrical make-up artist. This new devised play is about friendship and the faces we show the world, and will feature live theatrical make-up transformations. MADE UP will premiere at The REP Birmingham before touring the North East of England.
Eyes will be to the skies in Birmingham on 7th and 12th as the last three Trailblazer walks are undertaken. Following heroic tales told of St. George’s Steps, Birmingham City Council commissioned us to make a project with young people about their aspirations and their city. Our response is Trailblazers: In A Visible City. Continue reading “Dry January (2)” »
Happy New Year. Here at Cafe HQ much like the North of England and much of Scotland we are very keen on January being a dry month, but for a much more frivolous reason.
In 2012 we used bio-degradable paint to make three outdoor editions of The Steps Series – painting footsteps, hand prints and speech bubbles on pavements and paths to set out instructions for re-enacting miniature dramatic scenes. Indoors using vinyl the installation is a breeze, outdoors with paint it’s not, it’s a pain. In fact it is such a pain that we secretly agreed that we’d spare ourselves the grief and stick to indoor versions, but that was before… Continue reading “Dry January” »
A changing of the arts guard has been sneaking up on us in the West Midlands.
Tim Hodgson must have been Performing Arts Producer at mac birmingham for over a year now. There he replaced Louisa Davies who moved to become Events Manager at the RSC. Paul Burns has moved on from International Dance Festival Birmingham. Fiona Allan is the new boss at the Hippodrome having moved from The Curve in Leicester. Stephen and Jackie Newbould are leaving Birmingham Contemporary Music Group soon. Aaron Wright has just been announced as Artistic Director of Fierce replacing Harun Morrison and Laura MacDermott.
Each producer / programmer brings their own personal interests and preferences to a new post, which impact on who they commission and who they book. Each shuffling of personnel appears to close down opportunities for some and open avenues for others. There are fresh starts and new visions wherever we turn. These are exciting times.
The final exchange on what I suspect is an incomplete list is that Matt Burman has left Warwick Arts Centre (to head up the Yorkshire festival) and is replaced by Julia Carruthers. Matt had a great interest and experience of Contemporary Theatre, which suited Stan’s Cafe very well. Julia seems to have had more of a focus on Contemporary Dance, so we may have to introduce ourselves to her. I’m hoping that this introduction goes well, not least because she was tour managing the Michael Clark Company when they were collaborating with The Fall and she must must have some hair raising stories to tell of those days.
We are on the hunt for an Administrator to work with us on a fixed term basis in 2016 to cover maternity leave. The Administrator is at the heart of the company, managing projects on the ground and running all the systems that make sure everything runs like clockwork. As our 25th anniversary year, 2016 will be a busy and exciting period for Stan’s Cafe and we’re looking for someone who’s keen to join the team and get stuck in.
Are you Devoted to making and watching theatre type activities but often a bit Disgruntled that things could work better in this field? Well, if so then the ideal place for you to be between 9th and 11th January next year is The REP in Birmingham where the 11th Edition of the Devoted and Disgruntled Open Space event takes place.
Continue reading “Devoted & Disgruntled 11” »
Today with the excellent Kate Green I was working with some young people in Birmingham planning a walking adventure in the City Centre on Tuesday. All was going well and as planned we moved on to the Risk Assessment section in which we ask the students to think through what the risks of the trip may be, if these are acceptable and how we mitigate against them. The first risk they thought of was ‘being blown up’. It may have been that they were playing a deadpan game of winding us up. I hope they were. If they were they were playing it very straight and consistent. We played along, to an extent; after all it is a risk.
Continue reading “What are the Odds?” »