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The Questors with PlayBack

by Philip Sheahan

The Questors Studio

Directed by Simon Thomas
Musical Direction by Martin Seager
Designed by John Stacey
Lighting by Martin Sapsed
Sound by Martin Coster
Costumes by Anne Gilmour

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Paul Ashby, Lisa Day, Eddie Duff, Fiona Gee, James Goodden, Sandra Healy, Fiona Nicholson, Craig Winchcomb

Production Team:
Nigel Bamford, Andrew Barbour, Henry Broom, Alan Cook, Martin Coster, Jane Dewey, Stephen Gapp, Christine Garland, Anne Gilmour, Sandra Healy, John Johnson, Wendi Kelly, Gordon Miller, Martin Sapsed, Martin Seager, John Stacey, Martin Stoner, Adrienne Talbot, Simon Thomas, Fiona Timmins, Katie Tyrrell

PlayBack at The Questors


Playback and The Cuckoo Schools 1856 - 1933
Playback is a special community initiative of the Questors Theatre which has been concerned for nearly five years in the collecting and sharing of living history through drama.

The first Playback project on the Acton Laundries resulted in the highly successful production Soapsud Island which was presented both in the Questors Theatre Studio and on tour throughout the region. It has also been developed as part of the London Borough of Ealing's history provision to schools. Playback members are currently organising futher reminiscence workshops with Gunnersbury Park Museum in Which ex-laundry workers will meet young schoolchildren.

The second play The Cuckoo School has once again been created from a large collection of transcribed memories, this time from ex-pupils, staff and neighbours of the Central London District Schools in Hanwell. The remaining building is still in use today as the Hanwell Community Centre.

The transcripts, along with the mass of collected material - photos, magazines and letters etc, will form the basis of a valuable archive which, after mounting its own exhibition to accompany the production, Playback will pass on to the Ealing Museum Service.

The play itself is based on the first hand experiences of people who knew The Cuckoo School. Very often their exact words are used. Sometimes scenes are created from a recalled event with the emotions that surrounded it. The characters on stage however, do not represent 'real' individuals, what they say and do in the play combines the stories of many people - a selection of the memories of the last generation who knew The Cuckoo School.