Welcome to Stan's Cafe

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Haunted Joy Gaze

Friday, March 12th, 2021
Image credits: Ed Dimsdale

Haunted joy gaze
Vital banana grip
Warm death floating
Yellow sea day


I have just repaired a link to the micro-site that helps everyone write performance texts like our Bleak Heart Driver (which appears on Pieces For The Radio Vol.1). It is fun to use; you type in four three word phrases and the site performs a beautiful little dance converting these into 16 stanzas of automatic writing, little pills of nonesense, humour, poigniancy or enigmatic menace. Give it a go, or read on to see how Vital Banana Gaze works out…

(more…)

Robert Ball

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

I admire people who make things happen, who seize an idea and galvanise those around them to bring that idea to life. This is an act of optimism, a feat of will and a triumph of energy over the status quo. Robert Ball was one of these people and so to learn today of his recent death is especially sad.

In 2012 Robert founded FRED to create new theatre and stage classic theatre in fresh ways. Their first production was The Merchant Of Venice, which they staged across three spaces in our sprawling industrial venue @ A E Harris. The production zipped along with verve, humour and tight focus, it was well received and launched the company to produce a further 30 or so productions in a mere eight years – a prodigious output that included performances going into schools and care homes to reach as many people as possible.

Robert was a Shakespeare specialist but also a general theatre lover, excited to commission new writing, revive a long lost Restoration Comedy – The Dutch Lady and rock up at other people’s shows. Slipping in and out of Robert’s technical rehearsals and witnessing FRED before and after their productions, you couldn’t help but be uplifted by their shared sense of enterprise, mutual support, seriousness and good humour.

It was always a happy coincidence to bump into Robert, an intelligent, highly principled and scrupulously polite man. An enthusiast, a man who made things happen and someone who will be sadly missed.

Our sympathy goes out to all those close to him whose lives were lifted by his presence and will be deminished by his absence.

For Quality Purposes (11th August)

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

We hope you’ve been enjoying our season of online work, Stan’s Internet Cafe. Coming up next is For Quality Purposes …

For Quality Purposes is set in a Dispersed Universal Call Centre where call handlers, working from home, field enquiries from customers with a vast range of queries in areas they are rarely trained for, or qualified to deal with. Our heroes are often left floundering but cheeriness is their default setting and they work hard to find solutions to the many problems they are asked to solve.

Funny, touching and thoughtful, For Quality Purposes was devised online and will be streamed on the Stan’s Cafe Theatre YouTube Channel on 11th August, at 19.30 BST (Running Time: 25 minutes)

The Anatomy Of Melancholy: Episode 28

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020


This version is captioned, a non-captioned can be found here.

I love everything about this episode, it is possibly my favourite of the full 35.

I love the argument about the virtue of poverty and the conclusion that this can easily be argued by those who are not poor, but only carries legitimacy from those who are – which calls to mind Marx and historically the great wealth of monasteries, the popes and established religion.

I love the hight of luxury being epitomised as a cloak made from the beards of giants – though personally I’d not find such an item psychologically comfortable.

Most of all I love the consoling words in the final section. I love them as a form of poetry and as a reassuring message. In this performance we were privileged to have an unexpected guest star who make her unscheduled appearance at an extraordinarily appropriate moment. If this doesn’t make you well up then you don’t need to be watching video adaptations about a book helping you avoid melancholy, you need to be seeking counciling for those who have lost their very soul.

The Commentators live from MoFo

Saturday, August 31st, 2019

The Commentators on Mixlr

It’s that time of year again – the cricket season is nearly over, the football season is well underway, suitcases are being unpacked, school bags are being repacked, leaves are beginning to turn, the nights are drawing in, there’s a chill in the evening air and from all over the world musicians and artists gather in a park in the heart of Birmingham to perform at the Moseley Folk and Arts Festival. The festival know that not everyone can attend in person and so again this year have hired the services of The Commentators who will be broadcasting live on Saturday and Sunday to bring you all the sights, sounds and picnic smells from the heart of the festival site.

It’s the perfect way to say goodbye to the summer…listen on the player above or click on the link to visit The Commentators mixlr page.

Recruiting a Re-lighter for The Capital

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

We are recruiting a Re-lighter for the tour of our new show The Capital at the beginning of 2019.

Dates:
To be available for 2 days between 23 -27 October 2018 in Birmingham to learn
the show’s requirements from the lighting designer at Birmingham REP.

The production will undertake a UK tour for 2 or 3 weeks during the period 28 January to 17 February 2019; exact tour dates to be confirmed.

Deadline for Submissions: 24 July 2018 by 5pm

Read more about the requirements and how to apply below:

(more…)

The Commentators at Birmingham Weekender

Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

If you can’t be at Birmingham Weekender today you can listen live to The Commentators as they cover all the action from the Birmingham markets. They will bring you detailed coverage of the buying and selling of everything from carrots to dairy based products to mobile phone covers and be there to witness whatever other incidents a market Saturday might throw up.

Keep it here … The Commentators at Birmingham Weekender

Manual Crossfade

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Qlab-window-grab

So many things are possible now! In our earliest shows I directed and ran the lights and sound. The lighting was fun, choose which of twelve channels of light to have up at what level on the A Fader, then prep the next cue on the B Fader and when the moment came pull paired sliders down to cross-fade between the two, then reset the A Fader for Cue Number 3. To the side for the lighting desk two cassette players would sit one on top of the other with blobs of white insulation tape marking the play and stop buttons. (more…)

Edinburgh 2015

Friday, August 28th, 2015

mumsmug

The Edinburgh Festival / Fringe is an amazing brand. I can describe any number of impressive contracts Stan’s Cafe may have secured and people are generally unimpressed but mention you’re off to Edinburgh for the Fringe and their eyes light up. It doesn’t seem to matter that the only skill you need to be ‘on The Fringe’ is the ability to make a few phone calls and write a couple of cheques, as far as they are concerned you are going to participate in something they have actually heard of, that they know is big and which holds an excitement and romance for them. (more…)

Slot Together

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

slot-together-1

Proper Repertory Theatre, in which a mostly fixed group of actors take on a series of plays as a team in the same producing house for a season has pretty much died off in the UK. I believe the RSC still attempts to work in this way but it is an expensive way of approaching things and there are few that can attempt it. Clearly something similar continues with contemporary theatre companies which have a fairly stable set of actors. In these circumstances you look forward to seeing the same actors in fresh roles and settings, carrying with you memories of their previous performances. Unfortunately, because these companies tend to devise their own material and the actors tend to create that material you rarely see huge contrasts in these performances. One of the delicious side effect of repertory companies was to be able to watch someone who was The King last week relegated to be a Butler this week. Although the plays are different in repertory the ghosts of the actors previous roles still linger. (more…)


Stan's Cafe Theatre: Company No. 3095751 | VAT No. 670 5071 49 | Reg Office: c/o Laytons, 22 St John St, Manchester M3 4EB
Cookie and Privacy Policies | Website design: www.f22design.com

Support Us