Stan's Cafe: One looks, marvels and understands

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Birmingham Fest 2017

Monday, June 19th, 2017

2017 brings us the fifth Birmingham Fest and we are excited to be hosting five brilliant performances @AE Harris.

A Positive Life/Dystopia (A Cautionary Tale) – Autin Dance Theatre

A Positive Life is an immersive and interactive dance theatre experience about sex, love and relationships that follows the interpersonal stories of five exceptional performers in dance, spoken word and physical theatre.

Dystopia (A Cautionary Tale) is currently in the research and development phase. It is a thought-provoking dance theatre duet performed by international dance artists Laura Vanhulle and Johnny Autin, looking at our need for connection, compassion and our modern anxieties based on fear and violence.

Friday 14 July, 7PM
To book tickets CLICK HERE

Willis the Poet’s Comedy Extravaganza!! – Rick Sanders aka Willis the Poet

Willis the poet hosts an evening of comic poetry presented by a number of invited stand-up performance poets. This is a new piece of work that primarily involves poets from the West Midlands region to showcase local talent.
Sunday 16 July, 7PM
Tickets £5 on the door

Something About England – Nick Knibb aka The Archbishop

A collection of tales and poetry inspired by music and living in the Midlands in the 1970s. A look back at how times were as a teenager and how they affect us still as adults.

Monday 17 July, 7PM
Tickets £5 on the door or VIA EVENTBRITE

Neighbourhood Watch – Gis a Gander Theatre

Have you ever had a neighbour who has been a pain? What other ‘stuff’ bungles your gravy boat brain? Meet Brassy Brenda and the Bumsville villagers. Guaranteed to have you laughing your long johns off in this eccentric madcap character comedy show. The show includes Bingo, songs and ample opportunities for audience participation.

Saturday 22 July, 7PM
Tickets £5 on the door

S/he/it Happens – Miranda Porter/Le Juice

A comical failure of assimilating gender. Porter’s clown doesn’t know the rules about gender. As if unwatched in their own bedroom, they playfully mash-up elements of gender expression with optimism and naivety. The show is currently in development.

Sunday 30 July, 7PM
Tickets £5 on the door

For details of other Birmingham Fest shows in other venues across the city please visit the Birmingham Fest Website

Gardens Speak (Tania El Khoury)

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

After a week of fixing blackout, wiring mini-speakers and loading in tons of soil Fierce Festival bring Gardens Speak by Tania El Khoury to AE Harris.

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protect their living from the violent thrusts of the regime. These domestic burials play out a continuing collaboration between the living and the dead, the dead protect the living by not exposing them to further danger at the hands of the state and the living protect the dead by conserving and nurturing their identities and their stories in the ground, by not allowing their deaths to become instruments to the regime through potential disappearance, anonymity and forgotten history.

Gardens Speak is an interactive sound installation containing the oral histories of 10 ordinary people who have been buried in Syrian gardens. Each narrative has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves would have recounted it. They are compiled with found audio that evidences their final moments.

2 – 5 October and 9 – 12 October

Audience numbers are limited. Timings and booking information can be found HERE

Billy The Kid – His Life In Music

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

The next show at AE Harris is brought to you by Livestock

Billy the Kid is the first modern anti-hero.
Two men claim to remember him; Chevron Malaise & Acapulco Beans.
It don’t come back easy.

Billy the Kid – His Life in Music is an unlikely evening of reminiscence presented by two ageing cowboys. It has to be said; the stories don’t quite piece together. But with original songs, electronic soundscapes, re-enactments of famous moments in cowboy history and a wider examination of the quest for notoriety by association, the show makes makes for an original fusion of theatre and late night, off-beat humour.

Featuring musician Rex Horan (Neil Cowley Trio, Jazz Artist of the Year 2013) and writer/performer Chris Johnston (RSC and Co-Director of Livestock) Rex and Chris have been working together over several years exploring ways to fuse music, theatre and comedy.

​’Livestock’s latest production is a mash-up of vaudevillian comedy double act, fantastic music and song narrative and some imaginative performance choices which, taken together, make for a sublimely hilarious event.’
Ian Wilkie, University of London

‘It was just great. So entertaining, interesting, hilarious and left us both feeling inspired. Great chemistry between you guys too. Shall be raving about it to friends that’s for sure.’ Jodie Platts

‘Best thing I saw all Fringe Festival this, and possible last year too!’
Jason, Brighton Fringe 2013

Sweet Rockall

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

After the launch of Kiln and great performance of Fishhead the next event @ A E Harris is almost upon us.

Gibraltar, The Falkland Islands, Crimea… Rockall?

In the wilderness of the Atlantic Ocean there lies an uninhabitable rock. A rock called Rockall. Four countries claim to own both the rock and the oil reserves that potentially surround it (and the fish. Mustn’t forget the fish).

One day, a seemingly innocuous press statement from the Icelandic Government sets the wheels in motion for a diplomatic crisis on a grand scale. In this worryingly believable political satire, egos, sex and crossed wires conspire to bring the world to the brink of war, with Britain’s indecisive Foreign Secretary at the very heart of it. Can he hold his nerve and guide the world towards a peaceful solution?

A new play written by David Gray and directed by Jen Davis, both supported artists on the Birmingham REP Foundry Programme.

It’s Coming Back!

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

News! Things have been happening @ A E Harris. True, Chapman Driver Seating (a trading division of A E Harris & Co. (Birmingham) Ltd.) are now knocking out stacks of beautiful driver seats where once we all knocked out art BUT next door, devious art moves are afoot. (more…)

Valadictory Performance

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

To mark the transition of @ A E Harris from large to small format venue Stan’s Cafe will be creating a special, site-specific piece with a cast of guest performers from companies who have performed in the venue over the last five years. The show will be performed on 10th and 12th October. The title is yet to be announced. Please save the date.

Important Announcement

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

From mid-October @ A E Harris will be converting to become a more intimate venue. A E Harris (Birmingham) Ltd. are taking back the spaces known as Europe, Asia, Africa and The Americas in order to increase their manufacturing capacity and meed increased demand. Stan’s Cafe will continue to occupy the remainder of the venue and operate Australia as a rehearsal space and venue with an audience capacity of 50.

We are no longer taking bookings for the large spaces but are keen to hear from people interested in making independent theatre in Australia.

Many of us will have fond memories of shows in the ‘large format’ @ A E Harris and in order to celebrate this space a final time Stan’s Cafe will be making and performing a special show across the venue… details to be announced SOON.

After The Event

Monday, July 15th, 2013

As well has hosting performances @ A E Harris is often used as a rehearsal venue for shows that are staged elsewhere. We were proud to host some early rehearsals for a new show After the Event by Work In Progress. This is a free outdoor performance that starts at 20:00 on 19th & 20th July in Price’s Square, Northfield High Street. If you arrive an hour early there is entertainment and food laid on to get you ready for the main event. If you have youngsters and 20:00 is a bit late then a matinee is what you need and fortuitously there is one on the Saturday at 13:00 (build up from 12:00). We wish them well.

Birmingham Fest

Monday, June 17th, 2013


We are pleased to announce that @ A E Harris is one of four venues hosting productions as part of the first edition of
“Birmingham Fest” a new performing arts festival in the city.

The festival runs for two and a half weeks (12th – 28th July) and draws together artists and companies from across the UK. Other venues are The Blue Orange, The Crescent and The Old Joint Stock.

Our shows are Tempestory (see image above) and Twelfth Night. Details of both can be found by clicking through the diary links to the right here.

For details of other Birmingham Fest events visit their website.

Open Space 2013

Monday, June 10th, 2013


Photo Credit: Graeme Braidwood

Invitation to Open Space

Matt Burman, Louisa Davies, Steve Johnston, Frances Land, Roxana Silbert and James Yarker invite you to address the question:

“HOW DO WE WORK TOGETHER TO PUSH THEATRE FORWARD IN THE WEST MIDLANDS?”

We all share a passion for Theatre and for its growth in the region. Individually we are all committed and working to this cause but experience tells us that our greatest strength comes when we work together. It has been two years since the theatre tribes of the West Midlands have come together in Open Space to chart paths and forge alliances. This time has come again.

Please come if at all possible: RSVP
(more…)


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