‘We’re people who do shows’: Back to Back Theatre


Performance Politics Visibility
Edited by Helena Grehan and Peter Eckersall.
Published by Performance Research Books.

SKU: 978-1-906499-03-7 Category:


This book documents and responds to the work of Back to Back Theatre by providing artistic and critical viewpoints on one of the leading theatre companies of our times.

“This book is an excellent addition to the growing area of disability studies, and studies of performance and disability, but it should also be essential reading for anyone working in the fields of postdramatic perfor­mance and spectatorship, or collaborative performance-making.”
Kim Baston,  Australasian Drama Studies journal


Back to Back Theatre has transformed contemporary theatre in Australia and internationally with their unique theatricality and imagination. Based in Geelong, in regional Australia, the company is driven by an ensemble of actors perceived to have intellectual disabilities. Their work is inspired by a need to communicate the intrinsic experience of being alive. Back to Back’s theatre is multi-layered, visual, expressive and sensory. The brilliance of their multi-award winning work is matched by its human scale and its respect for others. Hence, their awesome, confronting theatricality is also prosaic. As the company says, ‘We’re people who do shows.’

This book gathers key perspectives on Back to Back Theatre including interviews, documentation and scripts selected by the company and here made available to the reader for the first time. Accompanying this are scholarly essays and artistic reflections on some of the company’s most important and influential shows, including Soft, small metal objects, Food Court and Ganesh Versus the Third Reich. Providing insights from both inside and outside of Back to Back’s creative processes, this book offers a composite set of reflections on creativity, performance, politics, visibility and humanity.

Helena Grehan is Associate Professor in English and Creative Arts at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia.

Peter Eckersall is Associate Professor in Theatre Studies in the School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Other contributors include Jane Goodall, Richard Gough, Barry Laing, Lalita McHenry, Eddie Paterson, Yoni Prior, Anna Teresa Scheer, Bryoni Trezise and Caroline Wake.



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Additional information

Weight 0.862 kg