London Playback Theatre has performed and workshopped with diverse audiences and organisations, on a vast array of themes. Here you can see what we’ve been up to.
Moving On & Staying Put
Essex Unitarian Chruch, 20 September 2019 - On the evening of the global climate protests, we asked “when is it time to stay put, and when is it time to move on?”
Thank you to our generous audience for their stories of coming of age, nesting and uprooting, finding a new family, and sticking with one's community despite the ongoing challenges.
Particular thanks to the young people who shared - young people are changing the world!
London, 10 September 2019 - Thank you to Faith Matters for inviting us to join them as part of their international MURAL (Mutual Understanding, Respect And Learning) conference! Activists from across Europe came together to share experiences and best practice in grass-roots campaigning and higher level policy-making.
It was a privilege to play back their stories of resilience, faith and courage.
Survival & Growth
Essex Unitarian Church, 21 June 2019 - The solstice brought stories of making space for ourselves - to grieve, recover, grow, flourish - in the face of difficult circumstances.
We shared a rich pool of survival resources with each other - compelling books, strong trees, ancient stones, supportive friends, dance classes, faith, Capoeira, memories of loved ones, and opening to the magic of each moment.
Thank you to everyone who came, for the stories shared, and the stories yet to be shared!
This is Me: My Journey
St Clement Church, 13 June 2019 - We are very grateful to the community of the ClementJames Centre for the powerful stories they shared along the theme of This is Me: My Journey. It was a privilege to perform stories of journeys of body, heart and mind, and to see how courage in the face of adversity was present in each one.
“Magical!” - Audience member
Relating & Relationships
Essex Unitarian Church, 17 May 2019 - A heartfelt thank you to our vibrant, international audience for the breadth and depth of their stories. From our relationships to the planet, politics, society, national identity and technology, to our relationships with home, friends, family and ourselves, we explored the joys and challenges of connection.
“A wonderfully heartwarming evening of connection and affirmation, thank you!” - Audience Member
Essex Unitarian Church, 18 January 2019 - A warm and lively crowd came to share their stories of wrestling with choices - moving overseas, online dating, changing careers, connecting with people we find difficult - and journeying towards a stronger sense of agency in our lives.
“I’m amazed at how you worked as a team - like some kind of symbiotic unit!” - Audience Member
Witches and Bitches
New Diorama Theatre, 13 November 2018 - From feminism to shamanism, coincidences to covens, our evening of witches and bitches brought tales seeped in the search for meaning in the mysterious, and magic in the mundane. Our thanks to all who came, and to all the witches, bitches and allies out there who make everyday magic in a tricky world.
“Last night you offered a special place for people to share things that are rarely spoken about. It was very tender and funny and moving.” - Audience Member
Another Piece of the Puzzle
Essex Unitarian Church, 17 October 2018 - ‘Another Piece of the Puzzle’ drew stories that touched on the delight and difficulty in finding, or not finding, one’s path. Threads of feeling uprooted, uncertain, and on the trail to new identities ran through the evening. Thanks to friends old and new who joined us, and to Essex Church for giving us a juicy theme to play with.
“Very inspiring and touching experience. I appreciate the sensitivity and expressiveness in all of you.” - Audience Member
Good Enough College, 27 June 2018 - We held a reflective space for trainees on an international leadership programme focused on pioneering technology for social justice. Participants shared their feelings about the training and their relationship to leadership, and joined us for further discussion after the performance.
“I was speechless throughout the whole experience…it showcased the importance of bringing in the body as a critical source of information and expression.” - Course Participant
Creativity and Wellbeing
Essex Unitarian Church, 15 June 2018 - Off the back of 2018’s Creativity and Wellbeing week this public performance invited stories about what nourishes us. Stories were shared about finding community in times of isolation, personal and professional boundary-setting, falling in love, and the journey to rediscovering creativity that was shut down in childhood.
“Thank you for introducing me to Playback!” - Audience Member
Essex Unitarian Church, 20 April 2018
In this public performance, Grace appeared in the form of long-lost lover, a gracious colleague who forgave a mischievous misdemeanor, a name so adaptable that it got the bearer through some sticky situations.
Love and Kindness
Essex Unitarian Church, 16 February 2018
Our audience shared with generosity their stories around giving and receiving love and kindness, and times when they’ve both been lacking.
Stories of Not Knowing
Essex Unitarian Church, 24 November 2017
In this public performance we boldly explored the unknown with a pioneering audience and fabulous stories of intrepidation, uncertainty and courage.
Theatre 503, 26 July 2017 - A tragic comedy about a deluded girl and her mannequin lover, followed by a theatrical reflection on love, loss and delusion with London Playback Theatre.
“You know a mannequin’s life is hidden and lonely; but often the darkest of times take us to the most comedic of times…like the day. Emma caught my eye: my life began. She lost her mum you know? I’m here for her, to help her get through it...”
How do you take your coffee?
Artworks Elephant, 6 July 2017
Audience members shared stories of how they relate to coffee. For some it was their essential kick-start to the day. For others the aroma was irresistible, but it wreaked havoc with the nervous system. Others were interested in ethical consumerism. We explored how coffee - searching for it, drinking it, avoiding it - held meaning and significance for us.
Celebration of Success and Reflection on Practice
Lillesham, 11 May 2017 - A Playback Theatre workshop and performance in partnership with The Survivor’s Trust.
What Happens Now?
Artworks Elephant, 4 May 2017
We invited stories on how we hold onto our humanity in the face of shifting tides.
Spring is springing. Are you?
Artworks Elephant, 6 April 2017
Springtime heralds new shoots - new energy pulsing through the body of the earth. We invited the audience to share how spring-like, or not, they were feeling, and what was pulsing through them.
I AM BEAST
Fisher Theatre Suffolk, 1 April 2017
Sparkle and Dark’s award-winning I AM BEAST toured the UK in 2017, telling the story of a teenage girl grieving her mother through theatre and puppetry. London Playback offered a post-show performance, enabling the audience to reflect on the themes of loss and mental illness.
Wellness Day for Mums
Lordship Hub Co-op, 30 March 2017
London Playback Theatre partnered with the Women’s Therapy Centre to create a family event complete with Playback.
Be Bold for Change
Artworks Elephant, 2 March 2017
We celebrated International Women’s Day through a public performance, inviting stories on courage, change and daring to differ.
Artworks Elephant, 22 January 2017
For our first performance of the year we and our audience explored what stories had stayed with us from last year, and what we were taking forward.
Ageing: Combating Loneliness, with Globalnet21
Essex Unitarian Church, 10 November 2016
London Playback Theatre collaborated with GlobalNet21 to open dialogue about ageing, and its relationship to isolation and loneliness.
Living Alongside Challenges
Artworks Elephant, 3 November 2016
We shared personal stories about our life challenges, touching on family dynamics, carrier choices, love and the hardship of opening our hearts, living far from “home”, London as a challenge in our everyday lives.
Where are we going from here?
Artworks Elephant, 6 October 2016
As part of the Centre for Playback Theatre’s global initiative, we were one of many Playback Theatre companies around the world exploring where the world is going, and what we can do about it.
Mental Health - Them or Us?
Clean Break, 26 May 2016
London Playback supported an open and creative discussion around mental health, enabling personal stories about mental health to emerge.
Who’s Leading London?
Clean Break, 28th April 2016
We invited stories around the London mayoral election, exploring our hopes for the Big Smoke and the challenges we face as Londoners.
East Thames Housing, 18 March 2016
London Playback Theatre delivered two workshop performances to the residents of East Thames (now L&Q Living), a registered housing provider and regeneration charity in East London.
“I found the events very useful – I thought it was an amazing experience, and would like to see more of it within East Thames!” - Participant
Women on the edge of…
Clean Break, 17 March 2016
This performance was dedicated to International Women’s Day, and we heard from women and men from France, the Middle East, Hong Kong and the UK.
Community Psychology: Thinking more, speaking more, doing more
The Studio, Birmingham, 11 March 2016 - This conference was hosted by the British Psychological Society and Division of Clinical Psychology, and was designed for trainee psychologists. London Playback supported an exploration of community psychology as a way of explaining distress on a systems and macro level, and in terms of social, political and societal contexts.
Austerity and Social Justice
Clean Break, 18 February 2016
House of Commons, 28 January 2016 - in collaboration with GlobalNet21 and special guest Kate Osamor, London Playback performed at the House of Commons to explore the impact of austerity measures in the context of social justice.
Talking About Refugees
Essex Unitarian Church, 27 October 2015
In partnership with GlobalNet21, we hosted a workshop and performance to explore what divides us and connects us when considering what was being dubbed “the refugee crisis”.
What is Community? A performance in aid of Red Cross supporting Nepal
Essex Unitarian Church, 11 June 2015
This fundraising performance explored the audience’s experience of community, and what it means to be part of a local and a global community.
Summertime, and the living is easy
Clean Break, 16 July 2015
Midsummer madness? Midsummer blues? We played with both in this public performance, inviting stories about how we relate to the “summer vibe”.
Essex Unitarian Church, 30 April 2015
Family, friends and colleagues of Melissa Leigh gather to remember, honour and celebrate the life of our dear departed company member.
Love and Stuff
Clean Break, 12 February 2015
London Playback Theatre performed Love Stories and Funny Valentines - a night of true stories, and a chat about love and stuff over a cup of tea.
A Mind Full of Memories
Downing College, Cambridge, 22 October 2014
As part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas, hosted by The Naked Scientists, London Playback performed to support exploration of PTSD and the impact of trauma on the body and mind.
Watch the video here.
Creativity and Wellbeing Week 2014
Clean Break, 5 June 2014 - As part of the London Creativity and Wellbeing Week, we performed on the theme of Creativity in Everyday Life.
Mental Health Awareness Week
Clean Break, 14 May 2014
We hosted a closed performance for Clean Break members in alliance with Mental Health Awareness Week.
Celebrating Bromley Women
Community House, Bromley, 7 March 2014
In collaboration with Community Links Bromley, we invited local women involved in community projects or working in social justice to come and exchange experiences of living and working in Bromley.
Book Launch - Creative Supervision Across Modalities
Kids Company HQ, 28 February 2014
London Playback Theatre was delighted to perform at the book launch of Creative Supervision Across Modalities, co-authored by Lia Zografou and LPT’s co-founder and associate artist, Anna Chesner.
Festive Artfordable Fair
The Gallery, 7 December 2013
In this public performance London Playback teamed up with True Heart Theatre and Hungarian graphic artist Dénes Maróti.
Narrative Practitioners Forum
St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, 24 September 2013
We performed as part of the Narrative Practitioners Forum, within the World Week for Peace in Palestine-Israel. Participants were invited to use personal narrative and story to share best practice and learn from each other.
The Night of the Hollow Tortoise
The Slaughtered Lamb, 10 January 2013
A night of music, poetry and playback theatre based around the poet-musician Gabriel Angel Moreno’s new collection, The Hollow Tortoise.
The Classrooms, 9 December 2012
Funded by the Bermondsey Square Community Fund, this event included a taster workshop and performance. The audience were invited to share the joys and tears, dreams and disappointments of their school days, within the setting of an old Victorian school.
Art and Healing
New Diorama Theatre, 28 October 2012
As part of this multi-arts fundraising even for the children of Fukushima, Japan, London Playback enabled the audience to explore the other art work through reflective storytelling and playing back their experiences.
Essex Unitarian Church, 13 September 2012
The Forgiveness Project was a week-long exhibition and programme of events, in which London Playback performed.
We are the Heroes and Heroines of our Generation
London Bridge Business Academy, 20 June 2012
An evening of playback, discussion and food in support a young street theatre group from Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Stories shared explored what it means to be together and to be alone, and how we experience community in our lives.
World Playback Week
New Diorama Theatre, 15 - 20 May 2012
In World Playback Week we, in collaboration with the New Diorama Theatre, were joined by Playback Theatre companies from across Europe for nightly playback performances - companies from France, Italy, Hungary, Norway and Greece, performing in their mother tongue.
Big Sunday - a mini festival of Playback Theatre
New Diorama Theatre, 20 November 2011
London Playback performed and ran taster workshops alongside True Heart Theatre (London), Playback South (London) and Hudson River Playback Theatre (NYC).
Behind the scenes: stories of an exhibition
Southbank Centre, 17 October 2011
As part of the Koestler Trust exhibition of art by offenders, secure patients and detainees, London Playback performed to an audience of artists, visitors and magistrates, supporting responses to the exhibition.