Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Jack and the Beanstalk – A Media Review Round-Up

With just over 4 weeks of its 6 week run to go, Jack and the Beanstalk, the UK’s biggest pantomime, is currently playing to packed houses at Birmingham Hippodrome. We know the audiences are loving the production from many wonderful comments we’ve received about the show, its stellar cast, the scenery and special effects, but […]

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Jack and the Beanstalk press night at Birmingham Hippodrome – reviews are in!!

We held the official press night for Jack and the Beanstalk last night (22 Dec).  Taking place in one of our dance studios it was attended by over 100 media and guests who came from all over the region.   Radio presenters from  BBC Radio WM, FREE Radio and Heart FM rubbed shoulders with national writers […]

Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: Creative Teaching & Learning


Any Fool Can Start A War continues to attract the interest of the education community. In January the project is to be the cover story for the Creative Teaching and Learning “the most cutting edge curriculum and learning magazine in the country”. Inside there are nine lavishly illustrated pages carrying an essay I wrote for them about the project.

One of the challenges posed by Arts Council England is for companies to substantiate claims of Artistic Excellence / Innovation Etc. being able to point to articles like this helps.

Stan's Cafe Theatre Company: The Value of Research


Through illicit back channels I got temporary access to a volume on the history of the Benshi in early Japanese cinema. I read it fast, taking notes and returned it whence it came before it was missed overdue. Yesterday Craig and I were in the rehearsal room running through early versions of a scene for our new show, A Translation of Shadows, we were discussing the narration we had written for one of the scenes in the film we have made. In search of clues I flicked through my notes from said book and mentioned that the Benshi always narrated their films in the past tense. We had written ours in the present tense. Hasty re-writing proved that past tense is better but being able to flick back and forth between the two is better still. So once again the value of research is proved, even very small observations like this can make a big difference.

The Official Birmingham Hippodrome Blog: Sneaky peek of cast of UK’s biggest pantomime at Birmingham Hippodrome in full costume!

Earlier this week we welcomed the full company of our pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk including our wonderful cast Jane McDonald (Enchantress)  Duncan James (Jack), Chris Gascoyne (Fleshcreep), Gary Wilmot (Dame Trot), Paul Zerdin (Simple Simon) and Matt Slack (Silly Billy) with Robyn Mellor as Princess Apricot. They started to arrive from last Sunday and once the set […]

The Other Way Works: Owl: Characteristics & Habitat

Characteristics: You’re the ultimate night owl. As the sun sets you come to life. Mornings are for lie-ins, or if you have to get up early there had better be coffee, and lots of it.

Habitat: Not often seen before midday. Usually found by night with a glass of red hidden in the depths of a wine bar.