Stan's Cafe: One looks, marvels and understands

Animal Set Up

July 24th, 2014


Whilst Craig and Jack researched human statistics for Of All The People In All The World in St. Martin’s Church, Worcester – which opens on Monday. I saw to various jobs around the office and beyond before zipping over to the University of Warwick to complete the installation of statistics for Of All The Creatures Across The Globe. After eleven years dealing exclusively with white rice it is a great joy to be parlaying with pepper corns and pumpkin seeds, black sesame and almonds, chick peas and mung beans, red lentils and sago.

It was Shady Brady weather but a supply of cool water kept coming and a gang of assistants helped speed things along. The boxes are looking good in the meanders and responses from bystanders seemed very strong, so hopefully a lot of people will get to enjoy the piece and hopefully we will get some more life from what has been a logistics heavy project.

Diamond Scales

July 23rd, 2014


The notion of doing an animal version of Of All The People In All The World has been an intriguing idea floating around for a few years. A few months ago Professor Baz Kershaw approached us with an opportunity to deploy the idea. He planned to create three ‘Meadow Meanders’ for a big international theatre conference at Warwick University and invited us to contribute animal statistics to his walks. The opportunity seemed too fun to turn down. Continue reading “Diamond Scales” »

Peace In Our Time

July 18th, 2014

JFK and the Cuban Exiles. Photo credit: Graeme Braidwood

It takes a bit to get me on my feet at the end of a theatre show but Year 6 deserved their standing ovation last night. If the progress they have made in the last two months is remarkable their improvement in the last week has been astonishing. The confidence flowing from Wednesday’s first successful performance powered them through Thursday’s matinee and further confidence from that performance fueled by fatigue and ice-cream helped them improve another huge leap in the evening performance. Continue reading “Peace In Our Time” »

Rebellious Chief Armageddon

July 15th, 2014



Any Fool Can Start A War opens tomorrow at mac birmingham and it’s looking great. Obviously we’d love to have had more rehearsal time in school and more rehearsal time in the theatre but we’re making no excuses, we’re proud of what’s been achieved.

Everyone at school has been excited by the amount of media coverage the show has been getting. Yesterday there was a photo feature on the show nationwide in the Metro, then Michael Rosen picked out this story on Channel 5′s The Wright Show, which delighted people even more, they love Michael Rosen – who doesn’t love Michael Rosen, possibly only Michael Gove and he’s no longer a threat.

There have also been features in The Stage, Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail but this is my favourite… “Rebellious Chief Armageddon” is a great way to start and further down my press release quote appears to have been translated into Dutch and back again, gaining interest and excitement along the way.

Billesley Radio

July 10th, 2014


We have cause some of our own agro this week at Billesley Primary School. We’re trying to rehearse a highly ambitious, original play about the Cuban Missile Crisis with 60 members of Year 6 and, because they’re Year 6 and it’s their penultimate week at primary school, there are lots of demands on their time. Lots of these demands are totally unavoidable but Billesley Radio was avoidable, in fact it was our idea. Continue reading “Billesley Radio” »


July 6th, 2014


The last three weeks have been intense, rehearsing Finger Trigger Bullet Gun and then performing it in London and Birmingham. We are still picking over the results. Continue reading “FTB-Gone” »

Station House Opera

June 21st, 2014

This post has been a little while coming and has just been spurred on by reading, with much amusement, about Andy Field’s provocative Steel This Workshop. Part of Live Art Development Agency’s DIY Series Andy is asking people to ‘rip off’ other people’s work in order to explore ideas of inspiration, appropriation and homage. I’ve been thinking in this area recently because Finger Trigger Bullet Gun, the show we are currently rehearsing for LIFT (who commissioned it) and later BE Festival involves dominoes. Continue reading “Station House Opera” »

Crowd Dispersed

June 11th, 2014

photo credit: Robert Day

The World Premiere of Crowd Out went very smoothly on Sunday. It was great to finally have the sixteen composite choirs all together and in place. David Lang the composer had flown in to experience his piece for the first time. He seemed well pleased and the singers seemed to enjoy themselves. The sound was amazing and I was privileged to hear it twice running at full throttle. I enjoyed seeing the visuals Craig and I had worked out together slotting into place, we felt it wasn’t too much and wasn’t too little. A major highlight of the whole process for me was studying the varied styles of the sixteen sub-conductors and the different relationships they had established with their contrasting choirs.

Congratulations are due to principle conductor Simon Halsey and the BCMG team for pulling together such an ambitious piece so smoothly. There are more photographs from Robert Day and links to reviews and previews on the BCMG website.

Provocation #2

June 4th, 2014


At The British Library, in February we presented Provocation #1, an installation designed to sit alongside the Warwick Commission Into Cultural Value’s first public provocation. We were happy with what we made, but felt it was a bit too easy to miss or ignore, too much decorative and not enough provocative. This called for a change of strategy and last night, at the Barbican, we unleashed Provocation #2. Continue reading “Provocation #2” »

Crowd Gathering

June 1st, 2014


On Friday the sixteen group leaders gathered at Millennium Point with the conductor to rehearse Crowd Out. Today the blue group and then the green group came to the CBSO Centre to rehearse. On Tuesday the third quarter gather, on Friday the fourth quarter and on Saturday EVERYONE rehearses ready for the World Premiere. Us? We’re just helping people wave their arms around. Continue reading “Crowd Gathering” »

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