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Forced Entertainment (United Kingdom - 1984 - )

Location: Sheffield > United Kingdom



Creative Team: Robin Arthur, Tim Etchells (Artistic Director), Richard Lowdon (Designer), Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden, Terry O’Connor.
Board of Directors: Frances Babbage, Deborah Chadbourn, Adrian Friedli, Martin Harvey, Annie Lloyd and Simon Shibli (Chair).


The work we make tries to explore what theatre and performance can mean in contemporary life and is always a kind of conversation or negotiation, something that needs to be live. They’re interested in making performances that excite, challenge, question and entertain other people. They’re interested in confusion as well as laughter. They started working together in 1984; in the many projects They’ve created since then we’ve made lists, played games, spoken gibberish, stayed silent, made a mess, dressed up, stripped down, confessed to it all, performed magic tricks, told jokes, clowned around, played dead, got drunk, told stories and performed for six, twelve and even 24 hours at a stretch. They’ve worked on texts, they’ve danced and moved, they’ve fixed things meticulously, they’ve improvised.

They’ve made serious work that turned out to be comical, and comical work that turned out to be deadly serious, digging deep into theatre and performance, thinking about what those things might be for us and what kinds of dialogue they can open with contemporary audiences.

As well as performance works, they’ve made gallery installations, site-specific pieces, books, photographic collaborations, videos and even a mischievous guided bus tour. In many ways the company itself is the bedrock of everything we do, a rare example of people building, maintaining and continuing to develop a vocabulary, way of working and innovating together over a long period of time.



» Real Magic - 2016

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