Theatre company, Stan’s Cafe, return to the stage with Community Service. Real life events inspired this new, gospel-powered theatre show.

It’s the 1980s, and Trevor is one of the West Midland’s first Black Police officers, and an acclaimed gospel guitarist. Now he is about to face a series of challenges that look set to reshape the world around him.

There are deep divisions on the streets, at work, and even in the Pentecostal Church. There Trevor sees a divide developing between generations, as younger attendees begin to listen to secular music on the radio, and rebel against the strict rules of their immigrant parents.

Meanwhile, his band is also gaining momentum. There are record labels circling, while it seems as if everyone is turning to him for advice.

Thatcher’s Britain, the Handsworth Riots, miner’s strikes plus casual racism for the backdrop for Community Service. It is also a music-filled, witty, emotional and uplifting theatre show. With its infectious live soundtrack that embraces spirit-raising gospel, Jamaican reggae and Motown-influenced funk.

The life of Birmingham community hero Trevor Prince is loose inspiration for the production. A trio direct the production. They are: Reisz Amos (AKA Odd Priest – former Artistic Associate of Birmingham Opera Company); Paul Steadman (AKA DJ Steadman – founding member and Co-Creative Director, Flawless Entertainment Ltd); Stan’s Cafe’s Artistic Director James Yarker direct the production.  With gospel consultation from Ray Prince – founder of the Gospel Revisited Project, and younger brother of Trevor (who passed away in 2019).

Reisz Amos, Yasmin Dawes, Kianyah Caesar-Downer, and Dominic Thompson devised and perform the play.

Performer comments:

Reisz says, “I’m both excited and honoured to be involved in this piece. As a member of the Black creative workforce I feel it is vital to see ourselves, our battles, our losses, our resilience and our triumphs, reflected on stage, and coming from authentic voices!

Paul adds “To have Trevor Prince’s younger brother Ray be touched by our show Precious Emily – which was about Black weightlifters Precious McKenzie and Emily Campbell – and bring us his brother’s story was very flattering. Trevor’s life has inspired us to make a show that is about duty, and loyalty, and the law, and identity, and community, and music, and police – it’s very rich!

Where to catch Community Service:

Where: New Wolsey Theatre, Civic Drive, Ipswich IP1 2AS
When: Tuesday 30 April and Wednesday 1 May 2024, Tue-Wed 7.30pm. Matinee: Wed 2.30pm
More information:
Box Office: 01473 295900
Info/ tickets: