A Piece of History
The original London Playback Company was founded in 1991. Anna Chesner and Veronica Needa were members until its demise in 1998. They continued to teach Playback and mentor other groups until forming the highly successful Playback AME in 2000 – which in 2007 reincarnated as the present London Playback Company with a new team.
London Playback Theatre Company works with audiences in the telling and re-playing of their stories. We offer performances and workshops which provide a safe space for individual voices to be heard and collective themes to emerge. Through the spontaneity and vibrancy of improvisational techniques, we create theatre which engages audiences – body, mind and spirit. Our work offers opportunities for participants to deepen their understanding of each other and to develop authentic ways of communicating. We honour the multiplicity of voices in any group or context.
London Playback Theatre Company is a team of internationally experienced professional theatre practitioners, consultants, educators, and therapists.
Lillie has been a Drama and Movement Therapist since 2005. Before this she worked with women in the criminal justice system as a support manager in the adult education sector; as a social and youth worker. She has managed a unit for children leaving care, and works with vulnerable young people and women using the creative arts. She completed the Playback Theatre core training in January 2006; and was invited to join London Playback Theatre in April 2007. Since this time Lillie has continued to enjoy, be challenged and inspired by Playback Theatre.
Charlie completed an arts psychotherapy training at the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education, London in 1996 and is a UKCP registered psychotherapist and clinical supervisor. She has also trained in Lecoq based physical theatre approaches since 2000 and has a particular interest in performance work which supports authentic communication, embodiment of experience, presence skills and storytelling.
In 2005, Charlie founded Moving Pieces Physical Theatre Company, a unique arts based mental health approach which integrates arts psychotherapy, physical theatre and body based approaches to working with trauma. Since 2009 she has worked in collaboration with the London International School of Performing arts on developing the integral theatre pedagogy aspect of the school.
Veronica is a theatre professional and has been a playback practitioner since 1991. A graduate of the School of Playback Theatre in 1995, she was President of the International Playback Theatre Network (1997-2003), and teaches internationally. Co-founder of London Playback Theatre she is also director of True Heart Theatre, serving the UK Chinese community, and Coordinator of the School of Playback Theatre (United Kingdom).
Claudia embodies the creative and healing potential of theatre. She is a performer, singer/songwriter and trainee at the London Centre for Psychodrama. In 2007 she joined Teatro Imediato, the first Portuguese Playback Theatre Company, with which she performed regularly as an actress, conductor and musician, for both open and closed audiences, such as professional and educational groups, orphan children and youth in homes, immigrants and prison inmates. She dedicated her Master Thesis in Communication and Arts to Playback and Teatro Imediato’s case-study, and came to London in September 2011 holding a Grundtvig assistantship grant, to work with the School of Playback Theatre UK, London Playback Theatre and True Heart Theatre.
Andi is from Argentina and has been involved with theatre and education for many years. She trained as a Physical Education teacher before travelling and moving to London. She worked with Cardboard Citizens Theatre Company for 6 years, trained in Forum Theatre and other theatre techniques, and toured in London hostels, refugee centres and schools, also performing in two site-specific plays with the company. Later on, Andi collaborated in setting up Tierra Theatre Company, producing, performing and teaching in Spanish. After finishing her Playback Theatre Core Training, Andi was invited to join London Playback Theatre’s performing team in 2012, and she is deeply enjoying the challenge of responding to real stories and improvising within this inspiring company.
Dvora works as an oral historian, storyteller, playwright, and arts educator. She has performed in arts centres, festivals, schools, libraries, community and aged care centres, and has taught drama and storytelling to people of all ages in Europe, India and Australia. Dvora has written plays commissioned by Amnesty International (2007-2008), the Foundling Museum (2009-2011), and was writer and director of the Sydney Opera House music theatre shows for young children and families (2006-2008). Dvora works with individuals and organisations to tell their stories through performance, publishing and film, and is committed to nurturing and inspiring people’s imagination and creative expression. She is especially interested in how we can write and tell biographical stories in creative and empowering ways for personal and social healing and transformation. Dvora is a qualified primary and secondary school teacher, journalist and yoga teacher. She has a Masters Degree in Oral History and Documentary Film Making, and is currently doing a PhD in collaboration with the British Library National Life Stories and the London School of Economics Law Department, examining changes in the justice system from the 1970s onwards.
Virginie has been working as a qualified dramatherapist since 2008 and has been practicing in educational settings and NHS as well as in her private setting since then. She is a trainee at the London Centre of Psychodrama and works with people who are suffering from addiction and eating disorder within the NHS and private settings. She has been involved in Playback Theatre since she completed the core training in 2008 and was invited to join the company in 2013. She has always been interested in working with the potential of an ensemble in creating an aesthetic form to give living shape to personal stories.
Tara joined London Playback in 2013, after training with the School of Playback Theatre earlier that same year. She is an artist and creative practitioner, running community projects to promote dialogue related to integration, with themes of identity and belonging. Tara obtained an MA in Classical European Theatre at Drama Centre (2009), as well as foundational training in LeCoq , Grotowski, Corporeal Mime and Forum Theatre. Tara is currently pursuing further training in Gestalt therapy, at the Gestalt Centre, London. She is particularly interested in the role of the musician, in playback theatre, and the concept of ‘the red thread’.
Agi joined London Playback Theatre in 2013 September. She started practicing Playback Theatre in Hungary in 2010 with her company Pepita Playback Theatre. She completed the Certificate course in Playback Theatre in 2014. Agi is a drama teacher and applied theatre practitioner. She enjoys working with different communities through interactive theatre methods and believes that applied theatre is for everyone to experience the world and ourselves deeply.
Anna works as a freelance psychotherapist, trainer and consultant. She is co-director of the London Centre for Psychodrama Group and Individual Psychotherapy, where she co-runs the Psychotherapy Training Programme and runs the Creative Supervision Programme. She has many years experience working in and for the NHS on a consultancy basis, and is widely published in the fields of group work and action methods. She graduated from the School of Playback Theatre (USA) in 2001. Her group analytic training informs her contribution to the company.
Simon has had years of professional experience in a variety of national and international educational and community theatre contexts. He is a lecturer in theatre, and directs a programme for deaf & hearing students at the University of Reading. He graduated from the School of Playback Theatre (USA) in 2006 having actively been involved with various Playback companies since 2001. He joined London Playback in 2004 and takes the lead in the artistic development of the Company.
Davina joined London Playback in 2009, and has been performing Playback since 1995, training in her native New Zealand and performing and directing with several companies. Since moving to London in 2004, she has performed with True Heart Playback and has been teaching within the School of Playback Theatre (UK). She currently works as a Dance Movement Therapist with children, families and adolescents, and has extensive experience in teaching in schools.
Jane has worked in university continuing education for most of her working life and is now a freelance consultant and trainer. Her most recent project was on self harm minimisation She specialises in active learning and integrates participatory theatre approaches into her work in education, housing, health, youth and social services. Jane is trained in forum theatre and has been with London Playback since 2006. She is a keen performer of latin and ballroom dancing on the LGBT scene.