Time Critical

Durational   Studio Theatre  

Time Critical was created for our 25th Anniversary Party and premiered at mac on 30th November 2016

Two performers confront each other across a table, a chess clock between them. Her job is to compress the history of the world over the last 26 years into 26 minutes; his is to do the same for Stan’s Cafe.

Action snaps back and forth between global and domestic events, accelerating as time ticks down. Fast moving and densely packed with humour and pathos, the show contains fragments from nine old Stan’s Cafe shows recreated in their historical context.

We are invited to think about ourselves in relation to the wider world, how personal histories interweave with world events. We are reminded how much has happened, how much has changed and how little has moved on.

First performed for the company’s 25th Anniversary in November 2016 this reworked version of the show is two minutes longer (as a year has passed). Audiences of the original show enjoyed its fast pace and engaging virtuoso performances. They enjoyed being reminded of historical events and thinking what they were doing when the action depicted in the show took place. People said the show was clever and fun, playful and dense with material building to a breakneck finale as the performers race to beat the clock.

There are comic situations, evocative moments and plenty to reflect on. It’s a good night out, hopefully you’ll never want it to end, but you’ll know exactly when it will as you can see the show’s twin clocks ticking down to zero throughout.

Before touring the show in November 2017 we ran a week of Research and Development workshops with residents of the Washwood Heath area of Birmingham. These workshops have their own page HERE


Performed in 2017 by: Craig Stephens and Amy Ann Haigh
Performed in 2016 by: Rochi Rampal and Craig Stephens
Devised by: Rochi Rampal, Craig Stephens and James Yarker
Directed by: James Yarker
Touring Technician in 2017: Kirsty Smith
Lighting in 2016: Frances Rice
Music and Sound:Stan Shows: Richard Chew, Brian Duffy, Jon Ward, Nina West.
Map and Graphic Design: Simon Ford
Photography: Graeme Braidwood
Administrator 2016: Jessie Coller
General Manager 2017: Laura Killeen
Executive Producer: Roisin Caffrey

Loved Time Critical tonight. Such a great comparison of personal and political timelines.
Hilarious and thought provoking
Celebrated LoveTheatreDay in exactly the right way with Time Critical
Stunning performance from Stan’s Cafe last night. Thought provoking and funny
Loved my first @stanscafe show tonight. Learnt more in an hour than I did in the whole of GCSE history I reckon

Social Media

Tour Dates

  • 15 November 2017:
    University of Chester

  • 14 November 2017:
    De Montfort University, Leicester

  • 13 November 2017:
    Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton

  • 7-8 November 2017:
    MAC, Birmingham

  • 6 November, 2017:
    Salford University

  • 30 November, 2016:
    MAC, Birmingham