The history of Playback Theatre in Australia is long and rich…

… and it began in 1980 when Bridget Brandon and Francis Batten were
asked to sponsor the Sydney leg of a trip by four members of the original Playback company from New York. The willingness of Jonathan, Jo, Judy and Michael to say YES when asked to come to Australia, and the willingness of Bridget and Francis to say YES despite the financial and logistical challenges, led to the founding of Sydney Playback Theatre – the second playback company established.

It began a 40 year history of exploring and growing Playback Theatre and 40 years of honoring Sydney stories. The following videos capture recollections from some of those involved in these beginnings. You’ll hear of the excitement of encountering this ‘new form of theatre’, the challenges and joys of establishing the first companies, and the creating of Playback ‘kinship that lasts till today’.

Once you have watched we’d love to hear what you thought and any memories of early Playback performances and company life in Australia and New Zealand. Click here to share on our Facebook page.

If you want to watch full screen click the three dots on the bottom right of the video then the full screen icon.

Part 1: 1980

Part 2: Establishing the first companies in Australia



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