Stan’s Cafe, Ocean of Storms

Review in Issue 8-3 | Autumn 1996

In Oceans of Storms, Stan's Cafe created a picture of the world from the perspective of two astronauts as they orbit the planet. The hapless explorers sporadically lock in to the world's telecommunication network, picking up snippets of conversations. The brief glimpses into other people's lives were cleverly juxtaposed to create occasionally humorous and sometimes touching moments.

The first twenty minutes of the production were entirely compelling, a wonderful atmosphere was created from lights and sound as the performers gave a rendition of fragmented phone calls. Unfortunately, however, the pace did not alter during the remaining 70 minutes of the show. Apart from raising the tension when one of the astronauts communicated with ground control as he tried to manoeuvre his spacecraft towards earth, the production remained at the same pitch throughout. There was a brief respite towards the end as the metal flooring of the stage was awkwardly moved by the performers to create a kind of landing area. The image this created once in place was very strong, but the mechanics of putting it in place were too drawn out and it was never really used to its full potential. On the whole, despite some visually attractive moments, I was rather disappointed by the production which promised so much but failed to fully explore its ideas in any great depth.

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Issue 8-3
p. 21