Welcome to Stan's Cafe

Archive for the ‘The Commentators’ Category

Commentators Calling

Friday, August 31st, 2018

We are spending this weekend at Moseley Folk Festival performing as The Commentators, spinning out a Test Match Special style radio sports commentary over folk proceedings for seven hours at a stretch, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 – 18:00. Our innovation for this year is that the whole thing can be heard live online around the festival site, at home, wherever you can connect to the internet.

commentators is on Mixlr

Arty types might call The Commentators ‘long form improvisation’, less arty types might call it ’having a laugh’ and less enlightened types certainly call it “droning on”. We’ve been performing The Commentators in various non or almost sporting settings since 2009. This is our fourth time at this festival and I’m amazed that they keep asking us back; I cling to the fact that they do when beset by self-doubt with hours left to go each day.

It’s easiest to commentate imagining people are listening in an imaginary world. The idea that actual people yards away in this actual world are actually listening is always deeply concerning.

To keep us on track we have a number of unwritten rules and guidelines concerning The Commentators:

– they are endlessly enthusiastic and optimistic.
– they are interested in everything.
– they have hypotheses and speculate.
– they are never nasty, cruel or unpleasant.
– they can be skeptical and are often cautious.
– they are experts but never on the subject they are discussing.
– they understand sport and read most of life as sport.
– there are always ‘listeners at home’.
– you only ever get hints of their lives beyond this moment.
– they are not funny.

It would drive us crazy doing too much of The Commentators but fortunately we have other things on. This coming week we’re in Saltley Academy working on the latest edition of The Steps Series which in an installation we’ve been reinventing since 2008. Next week we’re in Madrid with Of All The People In All The World, a performance we first made in 2003. Last week we revived our first hit theatre show It’s Your Film which we made in 1998 and to balance out all these revivals and reinventions, on 17th September we start rehearsing a brand new theatre show, The Capital which will open on 24th October at The REP in Birmingham before going on tour..

Until any of that we have a whole weekend of minutia to keep the listening public up to date with. Please tune in before we drop out.

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

Open Market

Friday, September 8th, 2017

On Saturday 23rd, as part of Birmingham’s Weekender event The Commentators are streaming live radio commentary from the Bull Ring Open Market. I was very excited about this opportunity until I realised that a family commitment 50 years in the making means I have to relinquish my seat, lip mic and sheepskin coat to Graeme, my daughter is overcome with relief. Continue reading “Open Market” »

Live Folk

Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

For the first time The Commentators are broadcasting live from Moseley Folk festival. Listen live from the comfort of wherever you are now simply by clicking appropriately below (11:00 – 18:00 Saturday and Sunday).

Junior Commentators

Friday, August 12th, 2016

commentator_apprenctices

On Saturday a team of apprentice commentators from the Lyng Media Club take to the streets of West Bromwich as part of the Sandwell Arts Festival. A team of twelve young people aged between 5 and 12 will be on the streets between 12:00 – 15:00 reporting on all the goings on in the town centre during festival time.
Continue reading “Junior Commentators” »

Sports Report

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

The Commentators Promo Video from Stans Cafe on Vimeo.

Can anyone remember the heady days of summer? The boozy folksy days of early September? No! Well to jog your memories here is a video shot at the Moseley Folk Festival starring your friends and ours The Commentators. Apparently they’re a bit short of work at the moment and so have commissioned a promotional feature to solicit something, anything… office Christmas Parties, Weddings, Ceremonial Openings, Swimming Galas, Mardi Gras, Traffic Reports, Car Boot Sales…

The Commentators

Monday, September 7th, 2015

We’d hesitate to call them ‘the best bits’ or ‘the highlights’ but the excellent Jon Ward plucked a few passage from this weekend’s fourteen hour splurge of commentary on the lovely Moseley Folk Festival and uploaded them onto Sound Cloud, so if you missed them live or heard them and want to re-live them then click above for: Jenga on the radi, someone buying sunglasses, people walking in through an Out gate and someone being menaced by a wasp Etc.

We are intrigued by Sports Desk, which has been booked as part of the forthcoming Birmingham Weekender event. Is this competition for The Commentators? Who knows, we will have to wait until the end of September to find out.

At the same event we are helping our friends the composer Michael Wolters and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group stage a number of performances of Michael’s new composition Requiem. He has written it to be performed in empty shop units and the performances will be called Requiem To Let. The location of the performances is as yet a closely guarded secret – you can judge for yourselves if this is code for ‘the venue has yet to be sorted out’.

More Lunar Commentators

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

The commentary ‘highlights’ from Saturday at the Lunar Festival are now available on soundcloud. All part of The Commentator‘s Listen Again service.

The Lunar Commentators

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Live from NYC

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Live coverage from the Foyer of The Public Theatre, New York City. Don’t miss any of the action. Web casting 23:30 – 03:30.


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