About Us

Stan’s Cafe is a group of artists from a variety of disciplines, but mostly theatre makers, working under the artistic direction of James Yarker. The company consists of an evolving team of long term collaborators and associated artists, the line up changes according to the project being worked upon.

Origin Story: Back in 1991 Graeme Rose and James Yarker, graduates of Lancaster University agreed to form a theatre company whilst eating at Stan’s Cafe, just off Brick Lane in London.

They 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… Stan’s Cafe (pronounced Caff).

Birmingham: When Stan’s Cafe was formed the company could have located anywhere, but Graeme was from Birmingham and knew the city well. The place was cheap to live in and easy to tour from. There were no companies resembling the one they wanted Stan’s Cafe to be already in the city and they fancied being big fish in a big pond.

In the early 1990s Birmingham was in the middle of the enormous civic investment programme so it seemed like an energetic place to locate.
After working out of a shared house and later James’ bedsit Stan’s Cafe got its first office at MAC in 1997. In 2000 they moved to a first floor factory unit overlooking the railway just outside New Street Station. When that was demolished they moved to the Jewellery Quarter and in January 2009 they took over a vast corner of the A E Harris metal working factory. For a decade they ran this space as a venue, rehearsal space and storage facility for the local theatre community. After that space was demolished the company moved to its current space, Our Facility – an Edwardian school building in Selly Oak

Former Office

18732About Us

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 as joint CEO. 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.

Whilst at Stan’s Cafe she became Chair of Culture Central and was a member of the More Than a Moment steering group, who are working for radical change for the Black creative workforce. She left in 2021 to take on new projects with contemporary artists and organisations, including as Strategic Producer for Selina Thompson Ltd.

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18729About Us

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.

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