Stan's Cafe: One looks, marvels and understands

(h)experiment Commissions

November 28th, 2014

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I love using formal constraints as a means of unlocking unexpected theatrical delights. An example is our attempt in Be Proud of Me to restrict the text to only sentences found in tourist phrase books. Simple Maths and The Cleansing of Constance Brown were physically constrained and The Just Price of Flowers had structural rules for which characters could appear on stage together in any given scene. Continue reading “(h)experiment Commissions” »

Visa Time Again

November 27th, 2014

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Yesterday was another triumph for Charlotte in our office. Craig, Rochi and I were at the US Embassy yesterday getting our work visas for The Cardinals tour. Inevitably the process is bureaucratic and each time we go through the process it more requires information to be submitted. When all the information is gathered and the case has been made that there is no one in the US who can do the job we are going there to do then precisely the correct photographs have to be taken and presented in digital and physical form. You need to make an appointment with the embassy and present yourself at the designated time Entertainers, for that is what we claim we are, have an early slot, 8am. Continue reading “Visa Time Again” »

ACE Training

November 20th, 2014

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Last week, amid the pouring rain, the game staff of Arts Council England in this region took to the streets of Birmingham on the latest edition of A City Adventure.

Despite the meteorological challenges the staff really got stuck into the activities Craig had set up for them. Change Kitchen provided a predictably delicious lunch before we cracked into an afternoon of reflection.

It was a reassuring day, not only did the adventure deliver the range of experiences we had hoped but the ACE team got stuck into it with commendable enthusiasm and showed a great deal of intelligence, sensitivity and creative thinking in their afternoon session. They showed a strong team spirit, which given the huge upheaval they have experienced in recent months was impressive to see. Obviously the chances of me slagging Arts Council England off on this blog are slim, but here I am genuine in my admiration. Not least for trusting us with a good slice of their pressurized training budget.

Calliope Tsoupaki

November 19th, 2014

Yesterday we experienced the gratifying wonders of the modern world. First thing in the morning we received an email from the Adelaide Festival relaying a message that the Australian Performing Rights Association had got clearance for all the music used in The Cardinals except Hymnos by Calliope Tsoupaki from St. Luke’s Passion. Permission for this hadn’t been refused, it just hadn’t been got. They suggested trying to contact the composer directly.

A search quickly found her website, I sent her an explanatory email and by two in the afternoon my mobile was ringing. We had a very pleasant chat, she said ‘yes why not!’ and within another hour it is all sorted out: wonderful.

Tokyo Filming

November 18th, 2014

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Today Craig and I got a glimpse of the video footage Oliver Clark and I shot last week in Tokyo, for our new theatre show A Translation of Shadows it is looking good. Here is a blog post I wrote about that trip but didn’t post at the time. Continue reading “Tokyo Filming” »

Hello to Farewell

November 18th, 2014

I excited to see Imitating the Dog coming to The REP this week with their new show A Farewell to Arms. The company specialize in bringing video projection together with live action in a beautiful and slick way. This facility combined with Hemingway’s plot should be a great combination. Continue reading “Hello to Farewell” »

Cardinals Tour Dates

November 13th, 2014

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We have had to wait before announcing all the touring dates for The Cardinals in the New Year because all the different festivals and venues announce their seasons at different times, but at last it can all be made public. Continue reading “Cardinals Tour Dates” »

Administrator and Executive Producer Wanted

November 4th, 2014

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So it’s ‘big announcement time’. Stan’s Cafe is embarking on a radical bit of restructuring. We have decided that, in order to do all the things we want and need to do at the scale we want and need to do them, we need to increase the company’s backroom capacity. Charlotte our General Manager has been doing an amazing job for the last ten years and as that job has grown we have tried to chop bits of it off to give out to other people but the time has come to finally admit it isn’t one job but two.

As a result we are looking for an Executive Producer who will act as joint CEO alongside the Artistic Director. They will be majoring on all the high level company development work – getting commissions, gigs, audiences Etc. They will also line manage an Administrator who will be at the heart of the company running all those systems that making sure everything runs like clockwork.

There are full details of both jobs on a new temporary web page www.stanscafe.co.uk/jobs. The turnaround is tight and we are obviously very keen to get two amazing people to help power us along, so please do circulate this information to all your networks.

We’ll say a bit more about Charlotte and her contribution nearer to her leaving date but suffice to say here and now, she will always be a Stan’s Cafe legend (in a good way).

Access to Work

November 1st, 2014

I’ve met Jenny Sealey a few times. She’s a powerhouse; funny, clever, passionate and a great artist. She is Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company and co-Directed the Paralympics opening ceremony for London 2012. In order to share her great vision she relies upon British Sign Language translation and this is made possible through an Access to Work grant. Continue reading “Access to Work” »

Help Cardinals Pack

October 28th, 2014

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The Cardinals are off on a big tour in the New Year. Their first stop off is in New York City in early January. This means putting the set, props and costumes in a shipping container in December. They don’t have much time to rehearse once Stateside and so they are re-rehearsing now and on THURSDAY they are putting on a special limbering up performance for the company’s nearest and dearest (like the good readers of this blog). So if you fancy coming along and seeing the show again or for the first time you are very welcome and you are also welcome to bring anyone else you think may like it. Tickets are just £5. The bar will be open. We have a new heater for @ A E Harris, so it should be fun and almost snug and we’d love to see you. Continue reading “Help Cardinals Pack” »


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