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

Office

18727About Us

Nick Sweeting

(advisor/producer)
Nick acted as Advisory Producer for Stan’s Cafe from 2003-2013. His first contact with the company was in the mid ’90s doing consultation work for Arts Council England, 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 the company and is currently working with us as a producer.

He was a founder member of and Producer for Improbable he now works principally for the Javaad Alipoor Company.

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18547About Us

Lucy Bird

Lucy currently works with Stan’s Cafe as both an Associate Artist on Creative Learning Projects and as our part-time Administrator. As if this weren’t enough to do she is also a founder member of and director for Paperback. Lucy also worked as Assistant Director of the acclaimed adaptation of The Lovely Bones.

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