Stan's Cafe

Stan's Cafe


Stan's Cafe is a group of artists from a variety of disciplines, though primarily theatre practitioners, working under the artistic direction of James Yarker. The company consists of a core of long term collaborators and a range of associated artists. The line up changes according to the project being worked upon.

Graeme and James agreed to form the company whilst eating at Stan's Cafe, just off Brick Lane in London.

We 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...

Oh yes and it's pronounced Caff.

Stan's Cafe was formed when both Graeme and James were pretty rootless. Birmingham was chosen as the company's base for a number of reasons. Graeme had been brought up here and so knew the city. The place was cheap to live in and easy to tour from. Neither of us knew of any companies resembling the one we wanted to form already in the city. We fancied being big fish in what seemed like a big pond. At that time (1991) Birmingham was in the middle of the enormous civic investment programme that built Symphony Hall, the International Convention Centre and the National Indoor Arena. The city centre resembled a massive building site; plans were afoot for the conversion of the old Birds Custard factory into a centre for artists to work in, Hockley was gaining an identity as a media centre. It seemed like an energetic place to come.

  • Total duration: 13'54
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Stan's Cafe


The Voyage is a collaboration between the composer Michael Wolters and theatre company Stan’s Cafe. The piece focuses on a mythological character who leaves home, travels overseas to face trials and so may return a hero.


20 outstanding new works, each lasting 12 minutes, commissioned to feature centre stage of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. New Music 20x12 is a UK-wide commissioning programme consisting of twenty new pieces of music, each of 12 minutes in length, celebrating the talent and imagination of the UK’s musical community as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Over the next 12 months you will be able to enjoy performances of these 20 new works in a wide range of venues and unexpected locations across the length and breadth of the UK – from churches, arts centres and concert halls to public spaces, festivals and a train journey. Each piece will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and available to purchase as mp3/FLAC download from NMC.

Visit our New Music 20x12 Project Page for more information about the twenty works.





Produced in association with BBC Radio 3 and PRS for Music Foundation


The performance of The Voyage by Stan's Cafe was recorded by the BBC at @AE Harris on 6 May 2012, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 16 June 2012.

Catalogue number:
NMC DL2012-08
Release Date:
25 June 2012