The performance at the Storytelling Centre (see below) went down well, the audience were brilliant and our work earned us an opportunity to work again with Michael Williams. in March. Check out the events on the MESP festival website - we performed on the 8th and will be in action again on 29th March.
In January, we played back stories with the Dalmatians. And the session at the St Augustine Church on 8th March went well, even though we only had two actors, Susan and Kate. Well done them! Here are some fascinating reflections on that event from Michael, who by all accounts did a great job of warming up the participants - performers and story-tellers.
Sharing a story with the Edinburgh Playback Theatre troupe was a lesson in ‘letting go’. What would they do with my story once I told it? Would they understand my feelings or what the event meant to me?
However, once I released my story (a story from my childhood) the Playback performers and musicians breathed it into life through their art. I confess I felt some exhilaration as my story became a piece of theatre. The performers' movements, gestures, and vocalisations (complemented by the musicians’ improvised guitar and percussion) were sensitive and compassionate. I saw aspects of my story from different angles, like a cubist painting. Their interpretation allowed me to experience my story with some distance, giving me objectivity, inviting me to look and listen from a different perspective. The rhythm of the music and the performers’ movements lifted my heart and spirit.
In the capable hands of the Playback Theatre, my mundane story of childhood was transformed into a meaningful work of art with more universal appeal. It was as if the performers had tapped into the more primal or archetypal qualities of the story. I felt as if the audience and I were in the presence of some sort of Greek theatre or ancient ritual practice or celebration.
If you haven’t experienced Playback Theatre before, I urge you to learn more and take up the opportunity to participate in what is an unique story-making and community-building activity. The interaction between the audience and the performers create a truly transformative experience that you won’t soon forget.