Posts Tagged ‘Back to Back Theatre’

It seems to me that festivals like LIFT exist to give us different, often unique, experiences and Australian theatre company Back to Back, comprising performers with ‘perceived intellectual disabilities’, certainly deliver that. I’ve left it until the short run is over to talk about it, so as not to spoil it, though as it happens I’m still processing it sixty hours later.

Your ticket says Barbican Theatre Unreserved Seating, but you’re led backstage, well onstage, where there’s a bank of seating and individual headphones. Looking out at the auditorium, you can’t see its normal seating. You soon realise you are in a black cloth structure that covers both the stage and the auditorium. The binaural sound through the headphones is extraordinary, particularly in the third part, when distant people and whispering in your ears.

Part One, called Out With The Old And In With The New, involves actors on a platform, much of the time identifying things on cards held up by another. As it ends, one is left for dead. For the second part, the black skin of the giant cover peels back to reveal a white one and its a rather hypnotic audio-visual experience called A Near-Death Experience. For Act Three, All We Have Is The Human Bond, the white skin peels back to reveal the theatre, Circle One being cleaned by the actors as they talk to each other. It ends back on the platform as they attempt to revive the actor left for dead.

I still don’t know what it’s all about, though death is clearly a theme, but it was an interesting, intriguing and original ride.

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