Stan’s Cafe: The Cardinals

Man reaching down into couple's stage

“A thought-provoking, witty and hugely entertaining show.”—Roundhouse

Fans of inventive and hilarious theater like Improbable’s Panic and National Theatre of Scotland’s The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart won’t want to miss the Wex debut of UK ensemble Stan’s Cafe and their side-splittingly funny yet probing production The Cardinals. Highly entertaining while illuminating our views on faith as well as religious and cultural differences, this play-within-a play depicts a touring puppet show devised by three crimson-robed cardinals on a mission of evangelism. When their puppets go missing, the cardinals step into the puppet theater themselves to bring their abbreviated and extrapolated reading of the Bible to life.

With the assistance of their stage manager—an ever-tolerant young Muslim woman—they enact key scenes of biblical history, the Crusades, and apocalyptic images of the contemporary Middle East, doing their very best to present their panoramic message of redemption. With only a few words this mainly visual show traces the deeply held beliefs of our civilization, tracking the parallel events depicted in the Old Testament and the Koran as well as the key points of divergence that have seeded present day conflicts. Notable religious leaders have paid Stan’s Cafe high praise for their ingenious navigation of potentially sticky issues. “The cast got it just right,” noted Reverend Dr. Richard Frazer of Greyfriars Kirk in Edinburgh, adding, “The whole performance had a refreshing take on the serious issues of faith, relationship, and culture.” That’s just one testament to this company’s ability to spark further discussion while offering an evening of zany, all-out fun.

The Cardinals was commissioned by domain d’O, Montpellier, France, and Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK, with International Partnership Funding from Birmingham City Council, UK.

Man reaching down into couple's stage

The Cardinals Photo: Graeme Braidwood

Man wearing cloth over his head

The Cardinals Photo: Graeme Braidwood

performer on stage

The Cardinals Photo: Graeme Braidwood


Doris Duke Charitable Foundation



The Blackwell



Greater Columbus Arts Council

The Columbus Foundation

Nationwide Foundation

Ohio Arts Council


Past Performing Arts

Stan’s Cafe: The Cardinals