Stan's Cafe: One looks, marvels and understands

Coming Up

June 6th, 2016

furious folly

Hold onto your hats everyone, there’s so much to see and do.

The Lunar Festival has come and gone darn it. Craig says it was great, so let’s not miss out on any of the other good stuff.

Alexander Zeldin, ‘new’ Associate Director at The REP has a devised show Beyond Caring opening in the venue’s Paint Shop opening on Wednesday, it arrives with great notices from elsewhere.

On Sunday BCMG’s Remembering The Future is the de facto farewell concert for Stephen and Jackie Newbould, it features four new works and has been in my diary for a good while now.

The weekend after Warwick Arts Centre host Doing Nothing Is Not An Option, a climate change and the arts conference which features presentations, discussions (and probably arguments) alongside three provocative shows.

This year’s BE Festival is nearly upon us (21 – 24 June).

LIFT is already upon London.

Mark Anderson, one of our all time favourite collaborators, is around the country with his spectacular show Furious Folly, which we are desperate to see. The brilliant news is that the show is coming to Sutton Park, it’s free but you have to book, so please do book, but only book on 9 not 8 July as on 8 July we have a one-off performance of The Cardinals @ A E Harris as they limber up to go to Basel in September (this may seem a little premature but a section of the show is being presented as part of On The Edge festival of children’s theatre that runs 2 – 9 July in Birmingham.

The Following weekend we have special guests @ A E Harris. PLS are with us all the way from Toronto, with two medieval morality plays. Mankind will be performed in our courtyard on 16 and The Pride of Life in our theatre space on 17. We will have a party after one of these performances but we’re not telling you which, so you’d better commit to coming to both (there is no charge, just donations). More on this later.

Birmingham Fest kicks off on 15 July and @ A E Harris we are pleased to be hosting Gus Watcham (19 July), Lucky Dog who are returning to the venue on 24 July after last year’s triumph; Reactor Factory on 29 July and Blancmontage are in on 31 July.

New Leaders

May 25th, 2016

newleaders

It was exciting to learn that Debbie Kermode has been appointed as mac birmingham’s new Artistic Director / CEO taking over from Dorothy Wilson. Continue reading “New Leaders” »

Made Up Trailer

April 28th, 2016

Made Up Trailer from Stans Cafe on Vimeo.

Video by: Oliver Clark

Coming to a theatre near you (if you live in the West Midlands or North East of England).

Happy Anniversary

April 28th, 2016

Compress Ma Pantalon – WebsterWest Ink from Stans Cafe on Vimeo.

Shakespeare’s 400 years gone (23 April), the Queen is 90 years alive (21 April), Roisin is 1 year with us (20 April) and Nina West…

Looking to promote Made Up The REP asked if this was our first all female cast, the reply was simple – “no but it is our first in 20 years”. That show was Ocean of Storms and Ocean of Storms as Nina West reminded me recently, was the first Stan show for which she created the music, so Happy Anniversary to her. Continue reading “Happy Anniversary” »

Will this work?

April 8th, 2016

The last post on this blog mentioned a familiar ‘stationary moment’ in the devising process. Today we reached another familiar landmark, the ‘Will this work?’ question. Often our shows are predicated on a fundamental device or premise that in theory should work but has yet to be proven. Made Up is one of those shows. In theory we watch make up being applied, the two people involved chat to each other, drama ensues and there is some satisfying resonance between the make up and the drama: bingo. Having spent the last four days working up script and getting quietly confident with that, today was the first day devoted to the make up side of the show. Watching Andy teach Alexis how to transform the youthful Emily into an aged Emily I was aware that I’d been engrossed for an hour. So the two things certainly work separately. The landmark question has arrived about combining the elements “will this work?” Of course the answer is “yes”. Unfortunately the follow up question is more difficult to answer: “how?”

That time again

April 6th, 2016

equipment

I like to think that we take many different approaches to making theatre shows, but ultimately most of them seem to come to a point were we require scissors, post-it notes, a stapler and hole punch. Three days into week two of rehearsals for Made Up that time has come. I’ve been writing sections of text, some speculative, some to order and now we are getting them in an order. There are big gaps still, but it is starting to feel coherent. The real excitement starts on Friday when Andy Whiteoak starts his practical make up lessons.

Apply for RSC / Stan’s Cafe Commission

April 4th, 2016

stratford-on-sea.small

Do you, or does anyone you know, fancy making a show for the Royal Shakespeare Company (and us)? We are proud to announce four small but rather elegant commissioning opportunities for the miniature Slot Together Stage we made with Billesley Primary school and Yinka Danmole last year.

This stage is due to spend its second summer on the terrace outside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon and this year we are teaming up with the RSC to challenging theatre makers to create a series of shows for it.

The shows are to be called: Miranda’s Beach, Ariel on the Cliff, Caliban in the Rock Pool, Prospero and the Seaweed. There is a modest fee and a set of rules each production must adhere to. The application process is very easy and everything is fully explained here on the RSC website.

We very much hope you, or someone you know, applies.

Enjoy your evening.

March 24th, 2016

cpr

Man down! Check you’re not going to slip on pools of vomit or urine. Approach, slap and shout. No response. Call for help “get an ambulance”. Ear to mouth and nose, look at hand on sternum, ten secs max, no breath. Hand on head and chin, hyper extend neck open mouth, look all around inside, all clear. Where the ribs meet, three fingers up, heal of hand, fingers interlocked, thirty compressions, two each second, one third body depth down, down, go! If you break their ribs so what, they’re about to die. Keep the hyper extension, squeeze nostrils closed, seal your mouth over theirs and blow deep and hard one second, once more, then back for another thirty compressions and on and on. If they vomit turn their head to the side, scoop it out. “Your job is to keep them alive for nine minutes”.

Attending a show @ A E Harris? Don’t worry you’re in safe hands, we’ve had the training. Enjoy your evening.

If I stay there will be trouble, if I go…

March 12th, 2016

road

So the CBI guy, speaking in a personal capacity said “out” and had was kicked out.

The Bank of England guy said “out” could cause trouble and that caused him trouble.

The Queen is being interpreted as saying “out” but that was years ago before anyone was asking so she can’t have been answering and now she’d say nothing.

So where does Stan stand? Continue reading “If I stay there will be trouble, if I go…” »

CETT Puppets

March 11th, 2016

cylinderheadsCETT

What greater privilege can there be that helping to teach the teachers?

On Wednesday I teamed up with Jim “Art Games” Morris for our final engagement with this year’s cohort of trainees from Central England Teacher Training. Their course started back in early September with A City Adventure and we met up again in November to put some creative thinking in around their placements in school. Continue reading “CETT Puppets” »


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