Perry Como's Christmas Cracker

Studio Theatre  

The first touring show by Stan’s Cafe and a very rare piece as it as a script. The idea was knocking around before the company’s formation. As with Memoirs of an Amnesiac and Canute the King which were to follow, it was forced to make a virture of the slendermeans on which it was made.

Rehearsed in the spare room of our rented house in Balsall Heath the two dimensional set was built fromwood Graeme’s Dad had ripped out when redoing his kitchen. The piece briefly toured venues in thesouth of England, the set strapped to the roof of Mark’s volvo.

The notion behind Perry Como was simple.

Two hopeless entrepreneurs seek to earn a fortune by colliding the forms of pantomime and a nativity,hopelessly mangling the Christmas story in the process.

The attempt is doomed to failure, not least when Mary, apparently plucked from the audience, starts to go off script to perform something she feels to be more correct.

Although there were many cheap gags in the piece, its main interest was a formal one, the meta narrativeof performing the staging of a performance which in turn is a collision of two mutually exclusive theatrical forms.

Credits

Perry Como’s Cristmas Cracker #1
Bill : Mark Reynolds
Bob : Graeme Rose
Mary : Sarah Liney

Text & Direction : James Yarker
Music arranged & performed by Richard Chew
Set & Costumes : Stan’s Cafe

Perry Como’s Cristmas Cracker #2
Brian : James Yarker
Bob : Graeme Rose
Mary : Sarah Liney

Text & Direction : James Yarker
Music arranged & performed by Richard Chew
Set & Costumes : Stan’s Cafe

The response to its initial tour was encouraging enough to provoke a short run in MAC’s Hexagon theatre a year later.

Photos : James Yarker

Tour Dates

  • 17th – 19th December 1992:
    Hexagon Theatre, mac, Birmingham
  • 24th January 1991:
    Wokingham Theatre, Berks
  • 8th January 1991:
    Beechen Cliff School, Bath
  • 7th January 1991:
    Eastbourne Arts Centre
  • 2nd – 5th January 1991:
    Oval House, Kennington, London
  • 11th December 1990:
    Emmbrook School, Wokingham, Berks