Welcome to Stan's Cafe

Archive for the ‘Of All The People In All The World’ Category

Seize the moment!

Monday, January 13th, 2020

Sometimes opportunities crop up at the last minute and have to be grabbed. In the midst of the whirl of spinning cranes that is the white hot redevelopment area of Nine Elms, just up stream from Vauxhall Bridge, sits an enormous single story warehouse with beautiful polished concrete floor. After years of being used for film shoots and fashion shows, as a rehearsal space for opening ceremonies and a car park for NATO leader limousines this former Post Office delivery centre is due for demolition. But before it goes Wandsworth Council have leapt in. Prompted by his enterprising arts team, the council leader asked where the local community benefit was from these high roller events and in response the doors have been opened for a free public event.

The Mail Centre Takover promises to be a fantastically balanced event. One one side of the warehouse The Actual Reality Arcade is being installed by artist Matthew Harrison and his team. This takes old style arcade games, such as Tetris, Pacman and Space Invaders and re-imagines them as if in a School Summer Fayre – as gloriously analogue as can be. On the other side of the room we’re counting out 6.7 tons of rice to represent a vast array of human population statistics.

With 6.7 tons we have one grain of rice for everyone in the UK and USA combined. As this venue is in the shadow of the new US Embassy and 2020 sees the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower sailing across the Atlantic, we thought US / UK would be a interesting theme to mix in with statistics representing life in Wandwsorth and London, current affairs and historical links. We have a team of six setting up the show and four will run the show from Wednesday 15 January – Sunday 26 January (but not on Monday 20 or Tuesday 21).

We are very much looking forward to seeing how audiences move between the two installations. It should be a great fortnight in a formerly inaccessible corner of the capital. It would be wonderful if you and your family and friends could join us.

Heavy Activist Rice

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

When staging Of All The People In All The World on foreign shores we always have at least a ton of rice on our rider. It’s not very rock-and-roll but when you’re building an installation that converts human population statistics into grains of rice it is necessary.

In truth we are starting to sound ever more like theatre’s answer to Celine Dion as we get ever more particular about the exact kind of rice we require. We use a grains-per-gram equation to help us ‘count’ large numbers and so, a few years ago, had to throw an hysterical strop when a venue supplied us with broken rice. Rice with a high proportion of broken grains is significantly cheaper than standard rice but we rely on a high proportion of whole grains to be confident in our counting strategy. (more…)

Dream Big Adelaide

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

Theatre luvvies will tell you that theatre is special because it is made afresh every night for a new audience and that the unique combination of those people in that space together at that time… it’s about context… etcetera and so on and on. I’ve spun similar lines and they’re not wrong, but at the same time theirs is also the same script, performed by the same cast, on the same set, on a similar stage us here – you there – darkness and clap at the end.

Of All The People In All The World is only theatre if you want it to call it that but if it is theatre it is re-made more radically than most theatre each time we perform it. In this case it really is all about context.

This Performance Installation, if you want to call it that, comprises piles of rice representing human population statistics counted out one grain per person and placed on labelled sheets of paper. The combination of which statistics sit next to which generate stories and questions. When we arrive in a new venue we have the freedom to put whatever statistic we choose where ever we choose to put it (provided we have enough rice to represent the number involved). In this way the ‘script’ is waiting to be written afresh with each new performance in each new venue. (more…)

TEDx Bonn talks are on-line

Friday, November 30th, 2018

A few weeks ago I took a train to Bonn at the invitation of Save The World to give a TEDx talk and now here it is in its ghostly on-line form. Mostly it’s about Of All The People In All The World. The best bit about my trip was meeting the other speakers and then hearing their talks.

Alanus Von Radecki kicks off his talk with a brilliant example of how cars have shaped the shape of cities, then weaves this with an explanation of why us all just buying electric cars is not enough to ‘save the world’ before giving examples of what a truly smart eco-city could be like. Tec and the city

Sander Chan from GDI sows hope where there could easily be despair explaining how even if national promises are broken smaller units of action can add up to big change. Spoiler alert: within this talk he gives away how Finding Nemo ends. How climate actions can realize a climate safe and fair future for all.

Connie Runner continues the theme of espousing activism by relating a series of politically provocative pranks designed to provoke change.
The power of naievetie to overcome fear

Elma Dervic introduces to her grandfather and how she has come to help him care for his bees through her tech skills, then she contests firm distinctions between ‘city’ and ‘nature’
The bee and me

It’s all good stuff.

Of All The People In Salzburg

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Of All The People In All The World - Salzburg

We have just returned from spending ten days at the Sommerszene2018 Festival in Salzburg where we performed Of All The People In All The World in the beautiful setting of the Kollegienkirche.

Around 7,000 people saw the show during our time there, people from all over the world. Below are some observations on some members of the audience, collected over one hour on the final afternoon (16th June 2018) …

People looking down at piles of amber rice.
People looking up at white Baroque domes.
A boy with a pirate T-shirt and a girl with a top that says Love.
A couple with rucksacks, a guitar and a neatly rolled tent.
A woman with a crutch, a couple holding hands.
Three women with heart shaped biscuit necklaces with the initials S and F spelled out in icing.
A pregnant woman with her hand on her back.
A man with shoes but no socks.

New brush

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Real live post with a hand written address is always exciting and when the envelope is colourful, cushioned and from Sri Lanka its arrival is a major event. I couldn’t imagine what could be inside or why it may be addressed to me. Then, as the thin bristled hand brush dropped out I recalled a conversation I’d had a few weeks ago in Mulheim and it all made sense. (more…)

Wrapped Up

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017


Craig and I have just got back from a week in Freiburg as the mini team working on a new spin on our show Of All The People In All The World. This gig followed on from one in the same town last year and for convenience we called it The Great Art Giveaway. The web page is up for it now. If you haven’t explored that section of the website you can see accounts from all the different presentation of the show dating back to its inception in 2003.

Par ikvienu cilvēku visā pasaulē

Friday, October 7th, 2016


Every five years or so I like to put up a post about translation, that time has come around again and this is the post.

This week a festival in Latvia asked us…

“Dear Roisin, we have to translate the title of the work into Latvian and I wanted to ask you to explain in what way you use “of all the people…” to have exact translation”

What a beautiful question. I love all this stuff about the use of words. So if you don’t want to know the ‘official answer’ then stop reading right now. (more…)

Rice Etiquette

Thursday, September 1st, 2016


What a rare treat to be making Of All The People In All The World again. It is performed regularly but for one reason or another I don’t seem to go out with it very often, so it was great to be in Basel this week for its installation and opening. (more…)

Look No Rice!

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Our agent in Denver has sent us news of a neat piece of ‘Data Art’ – as I’m learning to call it. Where we traditionally use rice to count things, here the artist uses time. Not being at full mental flexibility just now it took me a moment to cotton but not I have I think it’s great. If you like Of All The People In All The World there is a good chance you may like this.

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