Stan's Cafe: One looks, marvels and understands

So much to see (and hear)

September 25th, 2015

Now the autumn rush is upon us, suddenly there is much potentially exiting stuff to see (and hear) in and around Birmingham. Birmingham Weekender is this weekend. The Stan’s Cafe contribution is a subtle input into one of the most subtle events in festival. Michael Wolters has written a Requiem to be performed in a disused retail unit and we have been called in to consider the presentation of this piece. Continue reading “So much to see (and hear)” »

Work Opportunity

September 23rd, 2015

Image: Gareth Courage.

We are shortly to undertake an exciting project with 120 Year 10 students from across Birmingham. In order to pull off this rather ambitious plan we are looking to engage some freelance help. We are looking for people who are inquisitive and resourceful with a strong interest in young people, social cohesion and literary ideas. If this sounds like you or someone you know then please follow this link for more details of the opportunity.

Chas Ambler

September 22nd, 2015

It was a wonder that I was able even to see Chas Ambler. He was a mature student, in the third year studying theatre at Lancaster University when I had just arrived, a naïf first year student. Rumour had it that Chas drove round the town in a decommissioned London Taxi, that he had worked with counter cultural pranksters The Natural Theatre Company and that he smoked marijuana. We existed in different dimensions. Continue reading “Chas Ambler” »

Street Spy 2

September 9th, 2015


Years ago the Birmingham Post published a special supplement to celebrate Birmingham’s first Arts Fest. I wrote a piece which was half poem and half observational game. It was quite fun so when a local shop asked if we had anything for a newspaper they were planning to publish we sent them a copy of Street Spy and suggested we could do something similar for them. They liked it and agreed but things aren’t quite that simple when art and shops meet. Continue reading “Street Spy 2” »

The Commentators

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’.

School’s In

September 4th, 2015


Around Birmingham a few schools are back after the summer holidays but for the majority the end of this week has been teacher time with students in for the first time on Monday. We have been limbering up along with the teachers this week as well. Continue reading “School’s In” »

Edinburgh 2015

August 28th, 2015


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. Continue reading “Edinburgh 2015” »

Slot Together Stage

August 14th, 2015


Today we had to visit Stratford-on-Avon in the rain for a photoshoot and this gave us an opportunity to visit a new friend.

Through the last year we have been working with Year 5 at Billeley Primary School on the design and and build of a Slot Together Stage. They undertook some research into theatres and drawn up a brief for what they wanted. Having put the job out to tender they looked over the proposals and chose to work with the brilliant architect Yinka Danmole. Yinka came into school and worked with the group who also took on the Royal Shakespeare Company as a client who were keen to hire the theatre for their Stratford-on-Sea season this summer. Continue reading “Slot Together Stage” »

Art Hols

August 13th, 2015

So the Yarkers eschewed Tuscany for yet another year and went, as usual, to the West coast of France. With a pin in a map we found ourselves in the Saint Jean de Monts, a jolly seaside town which became even more jolly when the lottery came to town.

From what we could deduce, as a kind of thank you / promotional push, the French lottery send at least one road show around the country and on 22nd July our paths crossed.
Continue reading “Art Hols” »

Cleansing Translation

August 4th, 2015


It is time for yet another post about translation and how fascinating I find it – there’s no coincidence that our most recent show is A Translation of Shadows and another drew much of its script from tourist phrasebooks.

We are currently putting the finishing touches to an agreement that will take The Cleansing of Constance Brown to Poland in November. This has led to a new question of translation. Continue reading “Cleansing Translation” »

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