Things to know about Bagdad Cafe

Photo credit: Steve Tanner
It was a film…

Bagdad Cafe is a 1987 English-language West German film by Percy and Eleanore Adlon.

Emma Rice (Romantics Anonymous, Wise Children) has loved the film for over 25 years and would choose it as her film if she was trapped on a desert island. She has adapted the film into this production which is also partly devised by the actors in the Wise Children company.

It’s not set in Iraq…

Bagdad is a ghost town in the Mojave Desert in San Bernardino County, California, where the original film was set. However, this production is not set in a specific time or place – we could be anywhere, adding to the mysteriousness of the characters we meet.

You can go to the actual cafe…

The original film was shot at the Sidewinder Cafe in Newberry Springs, California. Since the film the cafe changed its name to Bagdad Cafe and has become something of a tourist destination. A small noticeboard on the cafe wall features snapshots of the film’s cast and crew.

Whoopi Goldberg was in it…

In 1990 the film was re-created as a sitcom starring James Gammon, Whoopi Goldberg, Cleavon Little, and Jean Stapleton, with Stapleton as the abandoned tourist, and Goldberg as the owner of the cafe.

I’m calling you…

The song in the show ‘Calling You’ was written by Bob Telson especially for the film Bagdad Cafe. It was performed by American R&B and gospel music singer Jevetta Steele and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1988 for Best Music, Original Song. Celine Dion covered the song and performed it on tour in the 90s.

You could see yourself on stage…

We asked people to film themselves singing the track ‘Calling You’ from the original film and send in their videos. If you sent in a video you will be able to see yourself on stage as part of a digital community choir at the end of the show.

There are two versions of the show…

During the Covid-19 pandemic The Old Vic streamed live productions directly from the stage via Zoom. For this particular production we are now at a stage where audiences are able to come back into the building to watch the production live in the theatre. After these initial performances there will then also be an OLD VIC: IN CAMERA version slightly altered for screen. You can join this audience of thousands of people from across the world from 25–28 Aug.

 

Bagdad Cafe is playing in person at The Old Vic and live streamed via Zoom.

Book in person tickets 17 Jul –21 Aug

Book OLD VIC: IN CAMERA tickets 25–28 Aug