Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: Mayor Meets the Mayor


So everything that I said in yesterday’s post would happen has happened. The council house was overrun by teenagers. They all looked very smart in their school uniforms and those whose schools didn’t have uniforms still looked smart. It was a fantastic mix of young people from across the city and although, predictably, things were a little tentative initially people soon started warming up.

We had invited a number of local politicians, public sector workers and activists to the event in order stop this area of life feeling so distant from the Trailblazer‘s lives and it was gratifying how many of these people made time to come and then to join in with the activities.

Lunch seemed to be fairly well received – which was one of my major worries – and, regulated by the Birmingham made ACME Thunderer we kept to time and entered the council chamber at 13:00

The presentations were great. There was a lot of talent on display and enough confident young people for the adults to have do very little. The voting was close. The technology ran smoothly. The speeches for Mayoral office were all impressive. We had given the speech writers quotes from earlier historical speeches to appropriate and re-purpose. The results were genuinely moving and a new Executive Mayor for 2030 was elected.

The current Lord Mayor received his copy of the map graciously. A late draft of the Prezi was shown and everyone left about ten minutes early with their maps and certificates.

We tidied up, went for a small celebratory sit down and I started to relax for the first time since October.

Black Country Touring: Women’s Comedy Cabaret

A night of stand-up comedy, fun, and laughter… BCT Promoters the Wolvereanz invite you to join them for an evening of comedy hosted by circuit headliner Mrs Barbara Nice, celebrating International Women’s Week featuring new talent from their stand-up comedy course. The … Continued

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Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: Trailblazers: In A Visible City

Photo: Kate Green

So the Trailblazers’ map has been published and today will be presented by 2030’s newly elected executive mayor to the current incumbent The Right Worshipful, The Lord Mayor, Councillor Ray Hassall.

Today is the conclusion of Trailblazers: In A Visible City, a project that stated in October. It is the day when you casually saying “and then the whole thing concludes with the participants taking over the council house for the day” finally has to happen. We have twelve artists lined up to take 120 14 & 15 year olds through four workshop activities. They vote in the council chamber. The wave placards, the vote on a new city budget and coat of arms, that they have designed, there are speeches for the new mayoral post and then there is the presentation.

The map can be viewed as a Prezi and the project’s photographs can be seen on bhamtrailblazers on flickr. The videos linked to from the Prezi can be seen on our new YouTube channel – in fact they are currently the only content of our bew YouTube channel Stan’s Cafe Theatre.

Women and Theatre: Are you looking for a performance opportunity?

We’re looking for male performers to take parts in Theatres of Conscience – a new performance piece about the experiences of conscientious objectors in WWI.  Actors are required on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 February from 10am-4pm, Tuesdays 16, 23 Feb and 1, 8 March from 6.30-8.00pm for rehearsals.  Performances take place on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March 2016 at the Hexagon Theatre, mac birmingham.  Please note that this opportunity is unpaid.  If interested, please contact us on 0121 443 7117 or email

The Drum - The UK’s Premier Intercultural Arts Centre - Book Online or Call 0121 333 2444: Simmer Down Festival Volunteers Wanted!

Are you friendly, approachable, and reliable? Do you want to gain experience and knowledge in a busy artistic environment, at a leading national music event?

Simmer Down Festival 2016 is the UK’s largest reggae festival, and we are looking for volunteers to help make it bigger and better than ever before. The annual event, now entering its 7th year, will be held on Sunday July 17th 2016 in Handsworth Park in Birmingham.

Click Here For More Info 

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The Drum - The UK’s Premier Intercultural Arts Centre - Book Online or Call 0121 333 2444: New Writer and Producer in Residence

The Drum is very pleased to announce the appointment of Tannexa Young as Writer and Producer in Residence. Playwrigher, producer and director Tennexa has enjoyed success with her theatre productions including Babymothers and Bashment Housewives. Tennexa will be working with The Drum over the next eight months on two new productions and will be branching out into filmmaking.

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mid * point: Theatre Absolute and Moving Spaces Present Traum


Theatre Absolute and Moving Spaces are proud to premiere the complete story of TRAUM, developed from their work-in-progress collaboration first shown in 2015.


TRAUM will be performed in the unique setting of the celebrated Shop Front Theatre in Coventry (once home to a fish and chip shop).  A combination of the vivid narrative voice of award winning writer Chris O’Connell and blistering choreography and performance from two of Europe’s champion breakers, Dimitar Goranov and Marius Mates, TRAUM is a the story of new arrivals and what is real or imagined.


TRAUM premieres at Shop Front Theatre, 38 City Arcade, Coventry, West Midlands. 3rd to 12th February 2016.


Producer Julia Negus says, “TRAUM is a merging of new theatre and experimental breaking. It’s a dynamic collaboration by both companies and we’re hugely excited to premiere the full production in our home city of Coventry.”


Performances in February

Matinee shows: 2.00pm – Thursday 4th, Saturday 6th, Tuesday 9th, Thursday 11th February.

Evening shows: 7.30pm – Weds 3rd,Thurs 4th, Fri 5th & Tues 9th, Weds 10th, Thurs 11th & Fri 12th February.


Tickets are £8.00 & £6.00.

Available via or 0845 680 1926

Company website:


Notes to the Editor:


press night: 4th february 2016, Thursday, 7:30 pm PLEASE CONTACT JULIA NEGUS FOR press TICKETS.

High Res full colour images available on request.

The Shop Front Theatre is the only professional space of its kind in the UK.

More information about The Shop Front Theatre

For interviews about the cast, details about the company, project and tour info contact Julia Negus,  Mobile: 07799 292957


Theatre Absolute Limited

Registered in England and Wales No.2966897

Registered Charity No. 1134077     VAT No.836912018

Black Country Touring: Join our Volunteer Arts Database

Interested in volunteering in the arts? Do you live in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, Wolverhampton or surrounding areas? You can now sign up to our volunteer database and receive regular updates on upcoming opportunities. The database is a joint venture between Black Country Touring … Continued

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Black Country Touring: HLF funding confirmed for Tongue Tied & Twisted

We are pleased to announce Black Country Touring has been awarded £28,000 HLF Funding towards Tongue Tied & Twisted – a new project based on traditional Indian stories as told by the members of local elder groups in the Black Country. The … Continued

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Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: How To Do It

I live in fear of Tim Harford. He hosts the Radio 4 and BBC World Service program More Or Less. The premise of this brilliant programme is that they interrogate statistics that have entered the public realm but sound a bit dubious. Classically it is politicians who are subject to fact checking but the programme’s range is broad, it’s up-beat and playful; Tim Harford is fantastic but he terrifies me.

My interest in statistics will be well known to any regular follower of Stan’s Cafe. Our performance installation Of All The People In All The World is entirely built on statistics, it is our biggest hit and virtually everyone loves it. When we first performed the show my greatest fear was that visitors would spend all their time questioning the integrity of all the statistics in the show. It was difficult to work our what counted as ‘due diligence’ for statistics we included in this artwork but we did our best.

In the event I was surprised to find very few people questioned the numbers and when they did these were usually numbers we had questioned ourselves and done extra work on verifying. Yet ultimately, it is an work of art not a government report, so although we would divide the 73.4 Million people who traveled through Heathrow Airport last year by 365 to reduce the amount of double counting and label this “People who travel through Heathrow Airport each day” (aesthetically I’d rather say “Yesterday” than “Each Day” but this would imply an unjustifiable level of precision). Of course my fear is that Tim Harford will land on the show and point out that this new number fails to account for passengers who use Heathrow for connecting flights and are thus counted twice in the day, once as an Arrival and again as a Departure, or for business passengers who fly to a destination and return on the same day. The man could make mince meat of the show! Except he always comes across as a very reasonable chap, so I’m sure he’d understand.

Anyway, my admiration for Tim Harford was increased today when I heard his recent TED Talk which starts with the amazing story behind Keith Jarrett‘s Köln Concert, which I’d never heard before and then went on to make an argument for ‘mess’ and ‘disruption’ being a valuable element of a creative process.