Birmingham Theater Company Stan’s Cafe presenting as part of the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, 22-24 January 2015

As a very timely, but unintended, response to the recent miss-communication in the American Fox News channel Birmingham based Stan’s Cafe are presenting their thought-provoking and hugely entertaining work The Cardinals at the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival this week.

“Three Catholic cardinals in crimson robes are on an evangelical mission. They’re touring a puppet show to broaden knowledge of the Bible. But for this performance, the puppets have gone missing—and the cardinals are forced to take their place on the miniature stage, which they do with heartfelt sincerity. As their young female Muslim stage manager both supports the cardinals and conflicts with them, the show races through scenes from their own very particular take on the Bible and incidents from the Crusades, finally arriving in the present-day Middle East

The very funny play gradually reveals its ingenious ploy to experiment with narrative and examine people’s belief—in religion and theater. Performed wordless on a deceptively simple set and some ingenious practical effects, The Cardinals follows the lengths four actors go to maintain illusion, until what we see unravels and deviates from what the fictional audience at a play about Bible stories sees, for a back-handed crushing revelation about real life”. (source: