Stan’s Cafe goes for quality in call centre play

Published: 29 July 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

“Ripe for humour and pathos”: For Quality Purposes

Birmingham company Stan’s Cafe is to première a play online which is inspired by global call centres and the fleeting relationships between those seeking help and those attempting to supply it.

Directed by artistic director James Yarker and devised by the company, For Quality Purposes features call handlers working from home who field customers’ enquiries they are rarely trained for or qualified to deal with. The play is “funny, touching and thoughtful” and has been created to be performed online.

The cast comprises Amy Ann Haigh, Bernadette Russell, Carys Jones, Lexia Tomlinson and Luanda Yasmin.

Yarker said, “I’ve always been touched by the distant but needy relationship between call centre workers and their customers. It’s an experience we’ve all shared—the frustrations, connections, incomprehensions and unexpected triumphs.

“When I was looking for a subject for a new play made by remote collaboration, this seemed a rich choice, ripe for humour and pathos. In For Quality Purposes we can see the faces of those who are working through on-screen menus as they try to solve our problems.”

For Quality Purposes will be free to access. It will be streamed on Tuesday 11 August at 7:30PM on Stan’s Cafe’s YouTube channel. The company suggests that audiences make a donation to one of three charities: the Equity Charitable Trust which supports performers experiencing hardship, the Theatrical Guild which supports front-of-house and backstage workers or the Ladywood Food Bank, Birmingham.