Stan’s Cafe is 25 Years Old.

In the Autumn of 1991 James and I moved into the terraced house at 85 Ombersley Rd., Balsall Heath, Birmingham, and the Stan’s Cafe adventure began in earnest. By the end of November we had started rehearsals for the very first project, Perry Como’s Christmas Cracker, and the first performance took place at Emmbrook Secondary School, Wokingham, Berkshire, on the 9th December, if my memory serves me correct.

On Weds 30th November 2016, Stan’s Cafe hosted a party at mac Birmingham to mark and celebrate the event. Stan did what Stan does best, staging a big production number for 350 invited collaborators and friends. An archival exhibition curated by Ana Rutter; gallery installations – including a DIY It’s Your Film and mini versions of the Scalextric, Of All The People In All The World plus the dominoes from Finger, Trigger, Bullet, Gun; Food Stations, designed around specific show-themes by Denise Stanton, a cinema screening of the 4-hour Twilight of the Freaking Gods (Stan’s interpretation of Gotterdammerung), and performances of a new piece, Time Critical, in which Rochi and Craig splice the Stan’s Cafe timeline against a chronology of critical events whilst James monitors the Chess-Clock timing mechanism which will determine the climax of the show.

Following the ‘official’ speeches from James, Roisin and chair-of-the-board Rob Elkington, I invoked the spirit of iconoclast Stan himself and ‘cut’ the cake with a blunt cricket bat.

“Stan’s Cafe is dead! …… Long live Stan’s Cafe!”


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