Back to Back Theatre are the superheroes of Melbourne theatre who leave us wanting to wear our undies on the outside, don a sexy cape and do something that leaves someone else feeling better every day.
With director Bruce Gladwin, the company developed a show about good and evil, where they start by deciding who gets to play Mark Deans’s gold-caped super hero, who mostly prefers to be quiet. With Simon Laherty, Scott Price and Sarah Mainwaring making the decision, Brian thinks it should be him because he understands superheroes and intellectual disability, but David Woods (non-company member, but regular guest) puts himself forward because he can act disabled and should therefore be equally considered – especially because he might be more convincing.
Cringing? Uncomfortable? Hell, yeah!
Formed in 1987, Back to Back is based in Geelong and is the only company in Victoria with an ensemble of full-time of actors, who are all perceived to have an intellectual disability. They’ve toured the world, won piles of awards and part of their artistic rationale is to “create theatre to challenge the gods”.
They rock in all the great ways and continue to confront latent prejudices and assumptions about disability and heroism with theatre that bites with sharpened teeth, but only hurts because you’ve laughed so hard.