Birmingham Rep & Stan’s Cafe Meet

On Saturday 13th October 2018 about 25 “instagrammers” met at Stan’s Cafe theatre in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.

The first stop on the meet was a live rehearsal of “The Capital” directed by James Yarker.

The blurb from the production is below:

Welcome to the big city. Where rich and poor share the same streets. Where five very different people’s lives converge and diverge, as they crisscross the city in pursuit of five very different ambitions.

If you ever feel you have to run in order to stand still, or see others gliding through life while you struggle to survive, or experience a relationship drifting apart, or a goal retreating as fast as you advance on it – then you will recognise life in The Capital.

The Capital uses moving walkways, bold performance and a rich soundtrack to turn its themes of financial inequality and strained human relationships into a vivid visual story told without words.

The story is really captivating as it is something we can all relate to. A life moving at 100mph when sometimes all we want is to stand still.

The production looks at the interactions between people and the way we can read body language as humans by the actors facial expressions. Considering I captured this moment in time. How would you read this situation? It’ll mean different things to different people.

After the meeting in Stan’s cafe it was on towards the Rep. A short walk up the road and we were welcomed into the main seating area.

Soon the “behind the scenes” tour began. For my group we first went into the paint shop. This is a fascinating place filled with evidence of time gone by.

Next up the workshop and with it lots of opportunity to see just how much work goes into the designing of the stage for productions.

The final stop of the tour was to the stage area. This was currently setup for the performance of “The Wipers Times” a stage play by Ian Hislop, more info below:

Based on a true story.

The Wipers Times tells the true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme and comes to The REP direct from a record-breaking West End season.

In a bombed out building during the First World War in the Belgian town of Ypres (mis-pronounced Wipers by British soldiers), two officers discover a printing press and create a newspaper for the troops. Far from being a sombre journal about life in the trenches, they produced a resolutely cheerful, subversive and very funny newspaper designed to lift the spirits of the men on the front line.

Defying enemy bombardment, gas attacks and the disapproval of many of the top Brass, The Wipers Times rolled off the press for two years and was an extraordinary tribute to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.

This set provided plenty of period props to take advantage of and get a feel for what life would be like on stage. Chatting to a couple of the actors I learnt that the 23 copies of the newspaper had been collated into a single book. Reading through some examples was fascinating.

This is one of the best photography based meet ups I’ve ever been to. I loved the variety of challenging light conditions. The mix of people vs objects meant there was always something that caught your eye.

You can follow IGERS Birmingham here and find all the posts from the meet by searching on instagram with the hashtag #igb_meet_therep2018

Thanks to Fraser, Martin and Beth for organising another great meet and to the Rep and Stan’s cafe for hosting us!

Links:

Igers Birmingham

Stan’s Cafe

The Rep Birmingham

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