Memorable Moments

To help launch our new blog site, we thought we’d celebrate the memorable moments that have occurred in our performances and workshops! In over 25 years we have performed for thousands of people and heard many amazing stories. There are many moments that stand out for us because they made us laugh or cry or inspired us in some way.

What do you remember?

It might be the time Melbourne Playback visited your organisation or it might be a public performance you saw. It might be a particular story you heard someone tell, an image that the actors made, or a song that has stayed with you for some reason. It might even be something that occurred after a Melbourne Playback performance – a conversation inspired by a story you heard or a relationship that changed.

Read about the moments that live on beyond our performances and share with us the memorable moments that you’ve had with Melbourne Playback Theatre!

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14 thoughts on “Memorable Moments

  1. Anonymous says:

    The first time I saw you guys I got goosebumps. It was amazing to have found theatre that has an authentic conversation with its audience. The highlight from that performance was when one of the actors embodied the evil character, ‘Tofu’ for a 7 year old teller who had just told a story about the disgusting food his parents made him eat!

  2. Jane says:

    I remember a police officer telling a story about a horrific scene he was called to where there was blood everywhere. It was such a graphic story and a real insight into the reality of being a police officer working in the community. The tenderness and sincerity of the way in which the police man recounted this traumatic story was very moving, and the actors then replayed the story with great sensitivity and power. It made me think about violence in the community from a different perspective.

  3. Tom says:

    I remember watching an amazing story in which a nurse/occupational therapist travelled to Romania and encountered a young boy with severe cerebral palsy. His body was contorted and stiff and the woman was drawn to him and his tender, desire-filled eyes. She gently worked with him, holding his crippled body to her, and he gradually relaxed into being 'held'. It was electrifying to listen to as story and then to watch as a playback. A most uplifting and moving story. One of the most profound moments I've had in the theatre.

  4. Daniel T says:

    I saw a Melbourne Playback performance earlier this year where a man described the experience of his partner birthing their first child and him getting to know the child a the first year passed. The main actor played the father with a deliciously comic level of excitement, which theatrically captured how the man had been telling the story, bubbling over in his chair.
    I related a lot as a reasonably new father myself and the whole audience laughed a lot especially when the actor leapt through his first burst of really full on anxiety and excitement when the contractions became intense.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It was a story told by the oldest daughter in very large family with alternative but totally dysfunctional parents. The actors performed it as a family of ducks. She took the other kids under her wing as her parents fell apart – she became like their mother – and a committed, loving one. It really worked with the family as ducks with her keeping the chicks together. it was quite an honour to hear this story of 30 years in the making.

  6. Mike McEvoy, ensemble member says:

    A few years ago we did a charity performance in the basement at the Abbotsford Convent. It is such an atmospheric performance space and with the stories shared, was a very memorable night.

  7. Glynis Angell, ensemble member says:

    I remember very clearly the dignity of an elderly nun who shared her story about her own advancing alzheimer's disease. There were light-hearted moments in the telling and re-playing of the story. What stands out for me was the hush of the audience when the teller was ready to return to her seat, looked up at the auditorium and clearly could not recall where she had been sitting.

  8. Rosalie says:

    October 21st, 2009

    My heartfelt thanks for your portrayal of part of my story of caring and for your willingness to delve so deeply within to draw out succinct, accurate, and incredibly true to my heart representations.

    I have never received from another, such understanding of the intensity of my feelings. Your few words and actions were part of me.

    The caring role, is one, of many colours. The telling of those colours is not something I, as a carer, do. The Melbourne Playback Threatre Company gave me a rainbow.

    Touched my heart.

    x Rosalie

  9. moni lai storz says:

    I saw my own story played back over 10 years ago. I was entranced. i put my story into action, in a career combining the application of drama, music and story telling to the learning and teaching of Chinese. The first ever in the world! The success of my 'story' was due to the "playing back" of it one night over ten years ago. It was mysterious and magical.
    Recently I went to my second play back performance (November '09) and was blown away. Yet again! I love playback theatre and in Melbourne we really do have some great talent. i would like to see more intercultural stories play back to us. Chinese and Australian is my special interest, Indian and Australian, etc. The Sino-Indian focus is important given what is happening to Australia in the context of globalisaton and the rapid disappearance of national boundaries.

  10. Greg says:

    We encouraged our friend Sean (student from China) to come with us to the Playback performance at Frankston on 26 June 2010 and we were amazed at how quickly he engaged with it and willingly volunteered his story about the challenges of scoring a high mark in the IELTS test (he had tried 13 times at a cost of $310 each try!) in order to be able to qualify for residency.

    The conductor and actors were very respectful and creative with his story and Sean was just so impressed and affected by the authenticity, empathy and warmth engendered on that night, as well as discussions and good wishes expressed by a number of actors and audience members after the performance.

    The very happy ending for Sean (and the start of a great new adventure for him)is that, on his 14th attempt, he finally achieved the required marks to qualify for a residency visa and he is very thankful to Playback for providing such positive encouragement!

  11. Simone says:

    I just came back from a performance from Playback Theatre at the Courthouse in Geelong. WOW! I had no idea that this sort of theatre was possible. The stories that I saw performed by the actors looked as if they had been prepared weeks in advance. The show was such an amazing, positive experience. As an adolescent/young person in Geelong I really cannot recommend Playback Theatre enough. It blew my mind. I am on such a high. Prior to seeing the show I had been worried about a few things going on in my personal life, but the Playback Theatre performance just spoke to me in such a way that I feel at peace and able to tackle anything now, despite not having my own story told to me.

    I have not laughed like that in ages. I cannot thank Playback Theatre enough. Personally, I think the bottom line was that the stories were performed in an incredibly beautiful and feel-good manner: it was magic.

  12. Hi Simone,
    Thank you so much for your fabulous feedback. It was so lovely to meet you and I look forward to further conversations and any ideas you may think of. Please email or call anytime.
    Kind regards Sherridan

  13. Last night we told stories to Playback: I shared & revisited an extraordinary moment in a jungle in Mexico, of terror and exhilaration when I accidentally disturbed a rabble of Ulysses butterflies from their hiding place in a fallen & hollowed tree. They flew out & over my head in a beating storm of sound, and away as a mass of bright blue. The Playback team encapsulated and reflected this moment, bringing and giving the moment's sensation and feeling.
    Same too for my husband, speaking of an experience when he & his cousin faced a sea-eagle, the three of them arms/wings outstretched: the were boys facing a strong wind and pretending to fly and the bird hovered, suspended – a metre in front of them, observing the boys as strange equals. The bird dived down and snatched a mouse hiding in the grass from between the feet of the boys, and held it prize-like in front of the boys for just a moment before flying away with it's prize.
    It was a delight to see these stories, and to have them shared with the audience at Theatre Works last night. Such improvisational mastery these performers, musicians and the lighting operator have. Truly they are very, very good listeners – hearing us, and each other and playing exquisitely.

  14. Dear Penelope, Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us, the playback was a delight for all to see. kindest regards Sherridan

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