Stan's Cafe is a group of artists from a variety of disciplines, though primarily theatre practitioners, working under the artistic direction of James Yarker. The company consists of a core of long term collaborators and a range of associated artists. The line up changes according to the project being worked upon.
Graeme and James agreed to form the company whilst eating at Stan's Cafe, just off Brick Lane in London.
We wanted an unusual name, but one that wasn't too aggressive, too posturing, a cheap joke, a bad pun or overly earnest. Station House Opera had always seemed a good name, mainly because they didn't do opera. So there you go...
Oh yes and it's pronounced Caff.
Stan's Cafe was formed when both Graeme and James were pretty rootless. Birmingham was chosen as the company's base for a number of reasons. Graeme had been brought up here and so knew the city. The place was cheap to live in and easy to tour from. Neither of us knew of any companies resembling the one we wanted to form already in the city. We fancied being big fish in what seemed like a big pond. At that time (1991) Birmingham was in the middle of the enormous civic investment programme that built Symphony Hall, the International Convention Centre and the National Indoor Arena. The city centre resembled a massive building site; plans were afoot for the conversion of the old Birds Custard factory into a centre for artists to work in, Hockley was gaining an identity as a media centre. It seemed like an energetic place to come.
James Yarker (artistic director)
Gained a first class theatre degree at Lancaster University. He co-founded Stan's Cafe in 1991 and has directed all the company's significant productions since then. As a result of this work he has been invited to guest lecture at Universities across the country as well as to present papers at conferences and run many workshops at home and abroad. James was an attached writer at Birmingham Rep once but failed to reconcile himself to the notion of sitting at home writing a play – he is now detached.
Roisin Caffrey (executive producer)
Roisin grew up in Birmingham and returned to the city in April 2015 to take up her post at Stan's Cafe. She previously worked in the team that delivered Royal de Luxe's The Giants for Perth International Arts Festival and for Darwin Festival. She has been Executive Producer at NIE, General Manager of Cheek by Jowl and held posts at the Gate Theatre Notting Hill, Theatre-Rites, mac and Birmingham Conservatoire, as well as producing several freelance projects. She has a BA Hons in French & Philosophy from the University of Leeds and the CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing.
Craig Stephens (associate director/performer)
Craig graduated from Warwick University and gained an M.A. at Lancaster University. He has performed with a number of companies including Insomniac Productions, Plane Performance, Talking Birds, The Playhouse. He has also written for amongst others; BBC Radio 4, Talking Birds, Hamfisted! and Ludlow Assembly Rooms.
He first worked with Stan's Cafe devising Simple Maths in 1997 since when he has been at the heart of most of the company's activities. Craig became Associate Director in 2006, a move that acknowledges his creative contribution to the company, his direction of numerous small-scale projects and his lead of the company on tour in James's absence. Other commitments with Stan's Cafe led to him not being in Finger Trigger Bullet Gun and the casting requirements meant he couldn't be in Made Up, but he can be heard in the this production playing a DJ on the show's soundtrack, he also wrote words and lyrics form this soundtrack.
Rowena Wilding (administrator - currently on maternity leave)
Rowena was born and bred in Birmingham. She went to Oxford University to become a Bachelor in Theology, served as a Baptist Minister and a fundraiser for Wolverhampton Art Gallery before working part time for the charity Urban Expression and community interest company Transform West Midlands. She started as Administrator for Stan's Cafe in January 2015.
Jessie Coller (administrator - maternity cover)
Jessie gained her BA in Theatre and Professional Practice from Coventry University. She is a Director of Noctium Theatre who are based in Birmingham.
Nick Sweeting (advisor)
Nick acted as Advisory Producer for Stan's Cafe from 2003-2013 and now assists the company purely as a key friend and advisor. His first contact with the company was in the mid '90s doing consultation work for the Arts Council, intermittent contact developed into a committed ongoing relationship. Nick helped the company greatly though a significant period of evolution and remains a key soundboard for future projects and strategic planning. He is a founder member of and Producer for Improbable.
Rob Elkington (chair)
Rob Elkington is Director of Arts Connect West Midlands and former Head of Education Partnerships in the RSC's Education Department. He headed up the development of a new education partnership between the University of Warwick and the RSC called Teaching Shakespeare. He is a Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme, and formerly Director of Creative Partnerships, Birmingham. He was one of the founders and served as Executive Director of the educational theatre company The Play House. He is Chair of Governors of Percy Shurmer Primary School and first crossed paths with Stan's Cafe when he was shooting a video in his spare time. This is his second stint on the Stan's Cafe board.
Lara Ratnaraja is an Independent Consultant specialising in the Cultural and Digital industries. As Development Director at Business Link West Midlands she helped an enormous number of artists and arts organisations develop their business thinking, providing pragmatic and realistic advice. Lara's huge enthusiasm and commitment to the local Arts Scene was evident in her regular presence at Stan's Cafe events over the years. When she turned freelance Lara immediately became a prized target for the Stan's Cafe board in 2011.
Neville Topping is a Partner in chartered surveyors Elias Topping. Neville is also involved in the re-development of the former Science Museum site in the Jewellery Quarter. He has a strong interest in the arts and building artistic activities into projects he is involved with wherever possible. Neville joined the Stan's Cafe board in 2008.
Alex Alderton (performer)
Alex auditioned to take on Jan's role in The Cleansing of Constance Brown. Her first performance was in Bucharest and continued on with the show for a number of years making the part her own. Alex is an excellent singer and an acclaimed actor.
Sarah Archdeacon (deviser / performer)
Studied performance at Dartington College of Arts. She joined Stan's Cafe in 1994 and was integral to the devising of crucial run of shows through until late 2000 when personal commitments led her to reduce her Stan commitments. She is director of Corali Dance company
Selected Stan Work: Bingo, Voodoo City, Simple Maths, It's Your Film, Good and True, Space Station, Framed, Of All The People In All The World
Gerard Bell (deviser / performer)
Gerard works in conventional and experimental performance in the UK and Europe. He has worked with Chris Goode, David Gale, Stacked Wonky, Improbable, and Athina Vahla; and, more briefly, Graeme Miller, Jonathan Burrows and Pina Bausch. Also with A2, dreamthinkspeak, Punchdrunk. He has been at The Sheffield Crucible, the National Theatre, National Theatre Wales and the Orange Tree. There are films and other works with film/installation makers and friends Lucy Cash, Magali Charrier, Shelly Love, and Adam Roberts. More recently he has taken, slowly and intermittently, to developing his own, or solo, work. He has been making a piece with Karen Christopher, of Goat Island, for her new company Haranczak/Navarre, and has just made a new piece, still.here, for What Matters at the Siobhan Davies Studios.
Stan Work: The Cleansing of Constance Brown, The Cardinals, The Just Price of Flowers (revival), The Voyage, The Anatomy of Melancholy, Finger Trigger Bullet Gun.
Gareth Brierley (performer)
Gareth is a People Show Regular together with work with a number of other companies including Station House Opera and The Royal Exchange. Gareth stepped bravely into the breach on the opening day of The Cleansing Of Constance Brown when Andy Watson was taken ill and has performed the show many times since then. He has also performed for Stan's Cafe in It's Your Film. He is co-Artistic Director of White Rabbit with Bernadette Russell.
Heather Burton (deviser / performer)
Heather studied at Warwick University. Worked as a performer with Third Angel, Plane Performance and Talking Birds. She has also worked with Gary Stevens on the group project Pieces of People. For Stan's Cafe she has mixed devising with stepping into existing roles.
Stan Work: The Carrier Frequency, Lurid and Insane, It's Your Film (touring), Framed, Of All The People In All The World, Be Proud of Me (touring), Home of the Wriggler
Alison Carney (performer)
Once Birmingham based before going to that London, Ali is a regular performer on Radio Four and for a number of different companies in the Midlands including The Birmingham Rep, Leicester Haymarket and Women and Theatre. She first worked with Stan's Cafe on the world version of Of All The People In All The World and has toured with the show on a number of occasions since then.
Cait Davis (performer)
Performed in our restaging of The Carrier Frequency.
Chris Dugrenier (performer)
Chris is a graduate of Dartington College Of Arts. She first worked with Stan's Cafe invigilating The Black Maze. Since then she has worked on many Creative Learning projects for the company and is a regular on tour with Of All The People In All The World. She was in the original cast of The Just Price of Flowers and Together With Love We Will Make This Citadel Glorious. She has helped install various Steps editions. She has collaborated with the company and BCMG on their family concerts Noise Into Notes and Pathways and Places. She played Brünnhilde in Twilightofthefreakingods.
You can read more about Chris's solo work here.
Charlotte Goodwin (performer)
Charlotte is a writer and teacher of writing. For Stan's Cafe she has been a reliable workshop leader and valued member of many touring teams. Her work with us includes: It's Your Film (touring), The Black Maze (touring), Of All The People (touring), Creative Learning Work and City Adventures.
Charlotte Gregory (performer)
On graduating from University Charlotte volunteered to help with Stan's Cafe in 2008. She has subsequently performed on tour in Of All The People In All The World and The Cleansing of Constance Brown. She is an ever present in The Just Price of Flowers, has toured with It's Your Film and appeared in Together With Love We Will Make This Citadel Glorious. She contributes to the company's education work and her excellent French regularly proves helpful. She now also works with ACE Dance in Birmingham - but not as a dancer.
Amanda Hadingue (deviser / performer)
Gained a first class theatre degree at Lancaster University in 1988. Amanda has been a key member of Stan's Cafe, helping to shape the company and its work since 1993. She has worked as a performer and deviser with many of Britain's most respected experimental theatre companies including: IOU Theatre, The People Show, Station House Opera, Scarlet Theatre, Pete Brooks's Insomniac Productions, Gary Stephens, Graeme Miller and David Gale. In recent years her work with The Globe, Complicite and RSC has reduced her appearances for Stan's Cafe.
Selected Stan Work: Canute the King, Bingo In The House Of Babel, Voodoo City, Simple Maths, It's Your Film, Good and True, Lurid and Insane, Space Station, Framed, Of All The People In All The World, Be Proud Of Me, Home Of The Wriggler, Tuning Out With Radio Z, I See With My Eyes Closed.
Amy Ann Haig (performer)
Amy Taylor (in real life) auditioned to take on Heather's role in Home Of The Wriggler in its 2010 trip to Beijing. She impressed so much that she was offered Jan/Alex's role in The Cleansing of Constance Brown. She was also in Twilightofthefreakingods.
Mike Kirchner (performer)
Mike is a performer and producer and was a regular with Talking Birds. For Stan's Cafe he gave a fantastically committed performance in The Carrier Frequency and has been a stalwart touring with It's Your Film and Of All The People In All The World. Read Mike's essay
Jessica MacKinnon (performer)
A member of Birmingham based Kindle Theatre Jess has worked on Of All The People In Al The World and on education projects with Ana Rutter.
Ray Newe (deviser / performer)
A graduate of Lancaster University. Ray devised and performed in key shows in the early days as the company was finding its voice. His work for Stan's Cafe includes: Bingo In The House Of Babel, Voodoo City and Dead Body. Ray has gone on to perform on TV and with The Liverpool Playhouse and The National Theatre. He as also appeared in The Cleansing of Constance Brown.
Gareth Nicholls (performer)
After training at Guildhall, Gareth first came to Birmingham in 2002 to appear in The Diary of Anne Frank as part of Jonathan Church's debut season at the REP - and he stayed in the city to begin making and presenting his own work as one half of Little Earthquake.
Gareth joined Stan's to don his brown coat for Of All The People In All The World in Perth and for its 10th anniversary homecoming in Birmingham. Stan Work: Of All The People In All The World, Finger Trigger Bullet Gun
Lucy Nicholls (performer)
Lucy auditioned and gained a part in Of All The People In All The World for its Whole World production in Birmingham. She has subsequently toured regularly with the show. She was in the original production of The Just Price of Flowers and Come Together. She has also appeared in Together With Love We Will Make This Citadel Glorious. Lucy has great experience facilitating other people making theatre and contributes to the company's Creative Learning Programme. There is more information about Lucy here. Lucy as part of Project X.
Jake Oldershaw (deviser / performer)
Studied at Dartington College of Arts. Worked as a freelance performer/deviser for Wendy Houstoun, Kaos Theatre, Reckless Sleepers and BBC Radio. Jake's own work ranges from one to one performance (Intimate History) to street intervention (The M5 Talent Squad) to photographic work (Midland Aquaphiliacs, Re-Inventing the Wheel). He is now Artistic Director of Untied Artists Jake's Website
Stan Work: Simple Maths, The Carrier Frequency, It's Your Film (touring), The Black Maze (touring), Of All The People In All The World, City Adventure, The Cleansing Of Constance Brown and Twilightofthefreakingods.
Bhati Patel (performer)
Bhati has one of the longest CVs in the Stan's Cafe team. She has worked as an actor and deviser with many, many companies in the West Midlands Region and Nationally. Her involvement with Stan's Cafe started when she replaced Bernadette in Home of the Wriggler through 2009 (she later took Amanda's role), she has toured with Of All The People In All The World and was in the original cast of The Just Price of Flowers in which Bernadette replaced her.
Jan Pearson (deviser / performer)
We brought Jan back to her native West Midlands to devise and perform in The Cleansing Of Constance Brown. Jan has worked with most of the country's most respected theatre companies and organisations since the mid 1980s, including amongst others Insomniac Productions, Rose English, Gary Stevens, Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey The R.S.C., The Royal Court, Paines Plough, The National Theatre Of Scotland and Scarlet Theatre. She is also a very successful TV actor with appearances in Silent Witness, The Bill, Where The Heart Is and, most famously, Holby City.
Louisa Pearson (performer)
Louisa toured with Of All The People In All The World.
Rochi Rampal (deviser / performer)
Rochi first collaborated with James whilst she was still at school, devising and performing in No Walls Just Doors as part of Stage2 youth theatre. She is now a freelance performer working regularly with companies around the Midlands. Her full Stan's Cafe debut was in The Cardinals. Since then she has also appeared in Together With Love We Will Make This Citadel Glorious, Living Toys and Twilightofthefreakingods, devised The Anatomy of Melancholy, took a lead role in The Voyage and more recently has joined the Of All The People In All The World team.
Kerrie Reading (performer)
As a post-graduate at the University of Kent Kerrie sat in on rehearsals for The Cleansing of Constance Brown becoming an unofficial production assistant. Subsequently she auditioned for Of All The People In All The World and has performed that show on many occasions. She has contributed to Stan's Cafe's education program and performed in the original version of The Just Price of Flowers as well as Together With Love We Will Make This Citadel Glorious. She is now studying for her PhD.
Graeme Rose (deviser / performer / education leader)
Founded Stan's Cafe with James in 1991. They worked closely together until late 1995 when Graeme joined the company's board and formed a new company, The Resurrectionists, with Richard Chew. He returned as an Associate Artist in 1999, devised Lurid and Insane in 2001 and took a post as half of the education team 2005-2007. Graeme continues to perform with a range of companies including Bodies In Flight, Red Shift, Talking Birds, Black Country Touring and Kindle as well as directing his own work and producing projects with The Resurrectionists.
Selected Stan Work: Perry Como, Memoirs Of An Amnesiac, Canute the King, Voodoo City, Framed, It's Your Film (touring), The Black Maze (touring), The Carrier Frequency, Lurid and Insane, Of All The People In All The World, The Cleansing Of Constance Brown, Tuning Out With Radio Z (touring), The Cardinals. The Commentators, The Voyage, The Anatomy of Melancholy, Noise into Notes, Living Toys, Finger Trigger Bullet Gun and Siegfried in Twilightofthefreakingods.
Bernadette Russell (deviser / performer)
Bernadette first worked with Stan's Cafe on Framed in 2000. Since then she has become a regular collaborator on shows and workshops. Bernadette is co-Artistic Director of White Rabbit, producing long running story telling cabaret "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" which has a residency at Toynbee Studios and has also performed at National Theatre, Thames Festival, Diamond Jubilee Pageant and Jackson's Lane amongst others. She has performed her solo shows "The Lost Property Office", "Somniloquy" and "The Parlour of Lady Indigo" at National Theatre, Freud Museum, Brighton Festival, and Duckies. She has worked with a range of other companies including People Show,David Gale, Penny Dreadful, Gerry Pilgrim, Shunt and Wet Picnic. She was commissioned to write the last two Penny Dreadful plays "The Missionary's Position" and "Etherdome" and Wet Picnic's "Death and Gardening". Her short stories are published by Ether and Pulp Press. She is resident compere for The Cheek Of It! cabaret at Madam Jojos. Her project 366 Days Of Kindness is on-going.
Stan Work: Framed, Home Of The Wriggler, The Cleansing Of Constance Brown, Of All The People In All The World (touring), The Just Price of Flowers (touring), Tuning Out With Radio Z (touring).
Benny Semp (performer)
A graduate of Dartington College Of Arts and founder member of Hamfisted! Benny first worked with Stan's Cafe creating People's Radio Freedom for Lurid and Insane with Jonny O'Hanlon. Benny has subsequently left Hamfisted! and is a freelance teacher and performer. He has toured with Stan's Cafe on The Black Maze, It's Your Film and Of All The People In All The World and still contributes to the company's Creative Learning work.
Nick Tigg (performer)
A People Show regular, Nick has made a number of showings in The Cleansing Of Constance Brown. He also performed for us in a secret corporate launch event. He has his own excellent company Slot Machine.
Jack Trow (performer)
Jack first appeared with Stan's Cafe as a boy in a Stage2 youth theatre production of Claire Dowie's Adult Child/Dead Child, adapted and directed by James. After training at Rose Bruford Jack is now a freelance actor and has become a regular touring with Of All The People In All The World, The Black Maze, The Just Price of Flowers, It's Your Film and The Cleansing of Constance Brown. He won 24 Hour Scalextric and appears in Together With Love We Will Make This Citadel Glorious, Finger Trigger Bullet Gun and was Hagen in Twilightofthefreakingods. He is a regular member of the company's Education team. His experience as Duty Manager at BAC and MAC is now regularly deployed @ A E Harris.
Charlotte Vincent (performer)
Artistic Director of Vincent Dance Theatre Charlotte performed in the Stan's Cafe restaging of The Carrier Freuency and led the cast in vigorous physical warm ups.
Nick Walker (performer / deviser)
Nick devised and performed in Simple Maths and Good and True and has toured with It's Your Film Of All The People In All The World. Nick is a member of Coventry based Talking Birds. He is also an acclaimed writer with two published novels and a range of work broadcast on BBC Radio. Read Nick's essay
Andy Watson (deviser / performer)
The charismatic front man for Lurid and Insane and a reliably committed touring man. Andy has a background in experimental performance working with a range of companies including Insomniac and Eddie Ladd, alongside his own work, much of which is now legendary. Andy continues to create his own music and performance work, including collaborations with Nina. Read Andy's essay
Stan Work: Lurid and Insane, The Black Maze (touring), It's Your Film (touring), The Cleansing Of Constance Brown.
Simon Webb (deviser / performer)
A musician and visual artist Simon played the drums and so much more in Lurid and Insane.
Richard Chew (composer / musician)
Birmingham born composer, pianist and singer Richard was an integral element of Stan's Cafe in the formative years, composing a series of stunning soundtracks for Perry Como's Christmas Cracker, Memoirs Of An Amnesiac, Bingo In The House Of Babel Voodoo City and Still. Since then he has formed The Resurrectionists with Graeme Rose and The Shout with Orlando Gough. Rick is a trained opera singer and now lives in Australia and is working as a full time composer. Commissioned with Ian Dixon to write some raw material for The Cleansing of Constance Brown this work is sampled the show's final track.
Brian Duffy (composer / musician)
Described by Mute magazine as a "national treasure" Brian is the artist leader of the acclaimed MODIFIED TOY ORCHESTRA and member of the Sinclair Spectrum Orchestra. Brian is a NESTA Fellow and impossibly clever. He first worked for Stan composing the soundtracks for two of the company's youth theatre shows, No Walls, Just Doors and Adult Child/Dead Child before moving onto the radio piece So Bring Me Down and the soundtrack to Good and True. Brian did an exceptional job as musical director for Lurid and Insane and wrote music in a Weil style to go with Craig's lyrics for the two songs in The Just Price of Flowers. He also worked alongside composer Giles Perrin on the music and sound design for SONIC JOURNEY
Jony Easterby (sound artist)
Musician, sound and visual artist Jony Easterby worked with Brian creating So Bring Me Down and composed the soundtrack to the Head to Head video.
Giles Perrin (composer / musician)
Giles is a composer and musician. His first work with Stan's Cafe was creating the soundtrack for the film Framed. Since then he has wokred on Carnival education projects and was musical director for SONIC JOURNEY
Jon Ward (composer / musician / software engineer)
Jon's interest in manipulating music, voices and ambient sounds started with jumble sale tape machines and is currently pursued using computers, samplers and esoteric electronic devices. His occasional work for BBC News enables him to make field recordings from around the globe. Jon's Site - ditdotdat
Stan Work: Voodoo City (engineer), Bingo (Engineer), Simple Maths (composer), Pieces for the Radio Volume 1, Of All The People In All The World (signalnet composer), The Commentators (engineer). Most recently Jon has combined his composing and compuational skills to become much of the cleaverness behind Tuning Out With Radio Z.
Nina West (composer / performer)
Nina was tracked down after a demo track was heard on a compilation CD at a party. With Jane Webster she recorded a rich, evocative soundtrack for Ocean of Storms; a section of which was later appropriated as the soundtrack to It's Your Film. Her skills as a performer and live musician were key to Lurid and Insane and later she demonstrated her instinctive understanding of how sound works in theatre when composing for Be Proud Of Me. She composed the soundtrack for The Cleansing Of Constance Brown for which she is the only team member to have been present at every performance. She wrote the monumental soundtrack for Twilightofthefrekingods in three weeks and has created the sound worlds for both A Translation of Shadows and Made Up. When required she supplies soundscapes for The Steps Series. You can discover more about her other work by visiting Nina's Site
Read Nina's essay
Mark Anderson (sculptor / sound artist)
Mark created The Black Maze with Craig and James as an equal partner in aesthetic discussions and as leader of the engineering, in both its first flat packed incarnation and then in the lorry. He played a similar role in Broadway Hertz and was commissioned as designer/builder for Home of the Wriggler along with Helen Ingham. He has helped out on various education projects, is regularly called on for advice and co-created Suzie Small Lifts A Car with James.
Mark was a founder member of the acclaimed multi-media performance group Blissbody , he contiues to make spectacular work including the internationally acclaimed collaboration Power Plant.
Paul Arvidson (lighting designer)
Paul has designed and toured lighting with companies to France, Israel and the United States. He has lectured in lighting at Lancaster University and now runs his own company Mulberry Grove doing large and small scale corporate work. He is a qualified pyrotechnician who has been lighting and blowing Stan's Cafe since 1994.
Stan Work: Bingo, Voodoo City, Ocean of Storms, The Carrier Frequency, Good and True, The Black Maze, Lurid and Insane, Be Proud Of Me, Framed, The Cleansing Of Constance Brown, Tuning Out With Radio Z, The Cardinals.
Miguel Angel Giglio Bravo (artist / designer)
Chilean-Italian designer who created the set for Simple Maths in 1997 and thirteen years later returned in trumph from his home in Rome to design and paint all the fantastic scenary for The Cardinals.
Simon Bond (lighting designer)
Simon is resident lighting designer at The REP in Birmingham. He first worked with Stan's Cafe relighting The Just Price of Flowers for its revival with The REP. He has subsequently also designed for Finger Trigger Bullet Gun and Made Up.
Oliver Clark (video maker)
Oliver has made and edited episodes of many highly popular and successful televisions documentary series. Through his company FCNK he also specialises in making films for and documenting performance events. He made the film that drives A Translation of Shadows and the video/green screen elements of Made Up, he has also documented many of the company's shows
Phil Coy (visual artist)
Visual artist Phil made props for Ocean Of Storms. Phil's Website
Mick Diver (lighting designer)
Mick is semi-resident technician @ A E Harris and his hard work helped transform a factory workshop into something resembling a theatre space. He has designed lighting for Noise into Notes, Living Toys, Pathways and Places and Twilightofthefreakingods. He toured with The Anatomy of Melancholy and A Translation Of Shadows.
Nigel Edwards (lighting designer)
Nigel has been designing the lighting for Forced Entertainment for the past 23 years and the last 13 years with Michael Laub/Remote Control. He is also the regular designer for Ryuichi Sakamoto and Diamanda Galas and the recent work by Wendy Houstoun. Other work he is pleased with were premieres of Cleansed, Crave, 4.48 Psychosis, Dirty Butterfly, Stoning Mary plus Roberto Zucco for the RSC and Jenufa for WNO. He also designed the lighting for The Anatomy of Melancholy.
Simon Ford (graphic designer / deviser)
One of the gang of Lancaster University graduates on which Stan's Cafe is based, Simon and James have been collaborating since 1988, when Simon did both stage and graphic design for a number of student shows. Simon now has his own graphic design business F22 Design where works in collaboration with Eamon Feeney on Stan's Cafe requirements including this website. He has also done education work for the company. In recent years his collaboration with the company has moved to a different level as he has become a lynch-pin of The Steps Series team on location.
Simon Gowan (lighting designer)
Did a heroic job designing and installing lighting for Canute the King in Moseley Road Baths. He then designed the lighting for and toured with Simple Maths.
Helen Ingham (visual artist / costume maker)
Helen designed the set and made the set and costmes for Lurid and Insane and with Mark Anderson designed the costumes, set and power generating machines for Home Of The Wriggler. Helen has also led a number of workshops for us and worked on The School Rulers project.
Jonny O'Hanlon (deviser / maker)
Co-founder and now artistic director of Birmingham based theatre company HAMFISTED!. Jonny first worked with Stan's Cafe creating People's Radio Freedom. He has also toured with The Black Maze and worked on Of All The People In All The World and City Adventure Days. He is a regular collaborator on our Creative Learning work, including a landmark Marble Run at Billesley Primary School.
Billy Hiscoke (stage manager)
Billy won out at interview for the formidable job as Stage Manager for The Cleansing of Constance Brown. He as also helped out the company with work on Final Steps, 24 Hour Scalextric, Of All The People In All The World and It's Your Film.
Helen Kelly (visual artist)
Video and visual artist Helen made props for Ocean Of Storms and has worked on a number of education projects including A Delicate Balance.
Lottie Leedham (maker)
Made props for Framed and for the IETM Courtesy Car.
Ben Pacey (lighting designer)
Renaissance Man Ben does lots of things, including designing lighting, which he did for A Translation of Shadows. Ben's Website
Reel Access (video makers)
Artistic Director George Fleming and his team at Reel Access have worked on various education projects for the company, particularly in Billesley Primary School. They responded to the challenge of making a video version of Twilightofthefreakingods with a fabulous piece of video art that we haven't yet managed to show to enough people.
Ana Rutter (designer / maker)
Ana is a Fine Art Graduate of U.C.E. and more recently a Master Of Art. Ana is a sculptor and video artist with considerable experience of working in education settings and a history of work in carnival. She first worked with Stan's Cafe on the animated film Head to Head and took a half time post as half of the education team in January 2005. This post came to an end in September 2007. She made a number of props for The Cleansing of Constance Brown. She continues to produce and exhibit her own work in both group and solo exhibitions. In 2013 she collaborated with the company making "Everyone Born In The UK: 1947" commissioned by the V&A for their David Bowie is... exhibition.
Karen Stafford (production manager)
After working principally in project management and marketing for a series of organisations including: Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Be In Birmingham 2008, Birmingham City Council and Fierce, Karen was given a one-off contract as production manager for Of All The People In All The World in Stuttgart. She fitted perfectly into the team and was asked to return as the company's full time production manager with additional input into show marketing. With less touring in 2008 Karen left to bigger and even better things. Karen's travel lust made her the ideal person to take the Stan's Cafe off on tour. In 2007 she took on the significant challenge of sourcing all the props required for The Cleansing of Constance Brown. She takes photographs and is too modest about her skills in this area. She left Stan's Cafe in 2007 to work for Greenbelt.
Denise Stanton (sculptor)
Denise is an fantastic sculptor and costume maker: for Stan's Cafe she is the 'go to' person for work devising/installing The Steps Series. Her sculptural costumes were used in for the leads in Twilightofthefreakingods, she also collaborated on Provocation #1. She is increasingly involved in the company's Creative Learning work, including producing an amazing Carnival with Rowley Park Academy. You can see her other work here.
Harry Trow (designer / maker / stage manager)
Harry graduated in Theatre Design from Nottingham Trent University in 2010. He has worked in design and stage management departments a Birmingham Opera Company where he was also Assistant Designer on Stokchausen's Mittwoch Aus Licht . He co-designed For Their own Good, by Untied Artists. His TV work includes making props and puppets for Adastra's Grandpa in My Pocket and The Ha Ha Hairies.
Harry built and sourced props for The Cardinals, worked as Stage Manager for The Cleansing of Constance Brown, redesigned elements of The Just Price of Flowers, designed The Voyage, The Anatomy of Melancholy, Noise into Notes and most recently Made Up.
Kay Wilton (costume designer / maker)
Kay lives in Birmingham, she regularly works with Birmingham Rep and Birmingham Royal Ballet as a costume and hat designer and maker. She made all the period costumes for The Cleansing Of Constance Brown and at incredible speed dressed the whole of The Cardinals and Any Fool Can Start A War, she designed costumes for The Anatomy of Melancholy, coordinated costuming for Noise into Notes and dressed Billesley School's comic strip version of Treasure Island. She made a new costume for Brünhilde on stage each night of Twilightofthefreakingods. Further examples of her other work can be seen Here.
Andy Whiteoak (make-up artist)
When The REP Birmingham commissioned Made Up, a show placing the make up process centre stage, they recommended Andy, their long time resident make-up artist who had turned freelance a year earlier. Andy was central to Made Up bringing his experience on film and television sets to the show, as well as his teaching experience and great knowledge of theatre. Andy's Website.
Graeme Braidwood (photographer)
Graeme became Stan's Cafe's principle production photographer in 2009 though impressing the company with his photographs of The Just Price of Flowers. This is his website.
Ed Dimsdale (photographer)
Ed took most of Stan's production photographs between 1999 and 2009 and still collaborates with the company. He also took all the slides that provided the backdrop to Be Proud Of Me and contributed key images to Tuning Out With Radio Z. Ed has worked on a number of education projects including School Rulers, Fruit and Veg Cities, Take It! and A Delicate Balance. Some of Ed's non-Stan photography can be found HERE
Joseph Potts (film maker)
Birmingham based film maker Joseph did on the hoof editing for Framed, has worked with us on a number of film education projects and has provided video documentation for many of the company's shows.
Anupam Singha (photographer)
Production photos for Voodoo City.
Mark Taylor (photographer)
Stan's photographer from 1995-1998, responsible for amongst other things great pre-production shots for Voodoo City and Ocean Of Storms
Charlotte Martin (general manager)
Charlotte started her journey to Stan's Cafe with a degree in Business Law and postrgraduate diploma in Museum Studies. She first worked for rock promoters Clear Channel Entertainment, before working in various capacities for the Arts Department at Birmingham City Council, Fierce Earth, Cambridge Film Festival and Audiences Central. She joined Stan's Cafe in 2005 and left in January 2015 having made an incredible impact on the company.
Philip Holyman: Admin Assistant (2013-)
Hannah Silvester: Admin & Marketing Assistant (2008-9)
Maya Kristina Paul: Administrator (2004)
Emily Dawkes: Administrator (2001-2003)
Paulette Terry Brien: Administrative Manager (1997-2001)
Mick Yates: Tour Booking (Ocean Of Storms)
Jane Ward: Marketing (Canute The King), Tour Booking (Simple Maths)
Jaki Booth (former Chair)
Alan James (former Chair)
Gwen Van Spijk (former Chair)
Dorothy Wilson (former Chair)
Stan's Cafe is a Not for Profit Company Limited by Guarantee. David Sefton of Laytons Manchester is Company Secretary.
In March 2002 Stan's Cafe secured Key Regional Organisation (KRO) status with West Midlands Arts. This three year agreement was the first stable funding arrangement in the company's history. It was used to supplement an income generated through performances, education projects, speaking engagements and the hire of high end video gear we acquired through a capital arts lottery bid in 1996.
The stability and flexibility introduced by KRO money helped us take calculated risks and back hunches. One of the first results was the ability to respond quickly to an idea and buy 1,000kg of rice for an experimental piece called 'Of All The People In All The World', this show has since repaid this investment many times over. By 2007 KRO had become RFO (Regularly Funded Organisation) status and the grant had crept up to a little over £50,000, representing approximately 1/8th of the company's turnover. This ratio was acknowledged by the Arts Council as reflecting excellent value and when all RFOs had their funding reviewed in late 2007 early 2008 we were rewarded with increased investment, just topping £100,000 in 2008/9. Since then the company has survived the termoil of 2011 to become a NPO (National Portfolio Organisation) at Arts Council England.
This increased investment is to allow us to increase our capacity to deliver our shows, which usefully fit well with the Arts Council's current priorities of innovation and excellence. We don't take this money for granted and will continue to be vigilant and creative as to how we get best value from it, so the public's money will be seen to have been invested wisely in us. We are grateful to everyone who has paid their taxes and bought their lottery tickets. We won't let you down.