HomeEntertainmentForced Entertainment confirm 2024 UK dates - Theatre Weekly

Forced Entertainment confirm 2024 UK dates – Theatre Weekly


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Globally celebrated theatre company, Forced Entertainment have today confirmed 2024 UK dates as part of their European tour marking 40 years of creating work.​

Birmingham Rep will host the only UK performances this year of Tim Etchells’ To Move in Time (23 & 24 May). To Move in Time is a dizzying monologue performed by Forced Entertainment Associate Artist Tyrone Huggins in which an unnamed protagonist speculates playfully about what he’d do if he were able to travel in time. From fantasies of changing the present, to obsessions with everyday events in the past, to dreaming up ways to get rich from knowledge of the future, the text is an unfolding compulsive thought process.

​A multi-venue London season of performances and collaborations will begin with the UK premiere of Forced Entertainment’s new work Signal to Noise at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall (10 & 11 Oct). Signal to Noise is both playful and unsettling, comical and deadly serious. Six performers navigate a world of constraints, traps, behavioural habits and repeating cycles – language and music in loops, physical action as a delirious mode of escape. Celebrating 40 years of the company’s experiments and reinventions of theatre language, the show summons a dynamic situation that draws audiences into a compelling encounter with the artists. Signal to Noise is an invitation to reflect on our shared contemporary experience, developed through the group’s rigorous and intuitive collaborative process.



Signal to Noise will then tour to Cambridge Junction (16 & 17 Oct) and Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts, Brighton (23 & 24 Oct).

The London season of work continues with the only UK dates of Go On Like This at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room (12 & 13 Oct). Go On Like This is a performance encounter between artist and writer Tim Etchells and the legendary percussionist Tony Buck, founder-member of the Australian trio The Necks. The two artists share strong fascinations with the possibilities of both free improvisation and intensive repetition – Buck in the realm of mutating percussive elements and Etchells in the realm of looping language fragments. Go On Like This brings them together for an evening of loops and cacophonies blurring the lines between language as sense and language as pure sound, creating something on the border zone between their two practices.

Shown and Told plays its only 2024 UK dates at London’s The Place (31 Oct – 1 Nov). Shown and Told is a dynamic but fragile performance collage built from studio improvisation, balancing fixed material and possibilities for free-play. Arising from an exchange between choreographer and dancer Meg Stuart and Tim Etchells it exposes the very different practice and sensibilities of these two artists, exploring the relationship between movement, image and performing bodies. Working with vivid and surprising images, some of them physical, some of them linguistic, the two performers develop a conversation that is tough, touching and comical by turns.

Directed by Tim Etchells and devised and performed by Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas,  L’Addition will then play a season over two weeks at Battersea Arts Centre (5 – 9 Nov, 12 – 16 Nov). Two performers armed with (or trapped in) a single scene – a customer orders a drink from a waiter. And then things go awry. Played again and again, the events of this stock-situation roll repeatedly with nonstop dialogue or absolute silence and the scene starts spinning out of control. Nightmarish spiral or grotesque farce? Roles and relationships of power flip back and forth, to the point that we no longer know who’s the target and who’s the aggressor, who’s serving and who’s being served.

Forced Entertainment then return to the Southbank Centre with 12am: Awake & Looking Down (9 Nov), last seen in the UK at the Tate Modern over 20 years ago. Five silent performers endlessly reinvent their identities using cardboard signs to name themselves and a vast store of jumble sale clothing. Jack Ruby crosses the stage his hands under his coat as An Air Stewardess Forgetting Her Divorce, sits crying, wrapped in a towel. Frank (Drunk) collapses, The Hypnotised Girl stares into the space and A Bloke Who’s Just Been Shot staggers past. 12am: Awake & Looking Down is a performance marathon during which the audience may arrive, leave or return at any time. In a combination of inventiveness and dogged endurance, its performers create a unique event that is comical, mesmeric and moving; a kaleidoscope of characters and implied stories unfolding over many hours. Entry to the performance is free.

The 2024 London season concludes with the only 2024 UK dates for If All Else Fails at Battersea Arts Centre (19 – 23 Nov). Two performers engage in an absurd test that seems to shift and change as they work their way through it. Fragments of a language lesson. Questions from a personality quiz. Slogans from some future society. The performers laugh, hesitate, ask for more time. The test continues. As the clock ticks it’s not even certain if the subjects of the test are the audience or the performers. Comical and tangled, If All Else Fails is a new collaboration between Sheffield’s Forced Entertainment and dancer/maker/choreographer Seke Chimutengwende. Performed by Chimutengwende and Cathy Naden, one of the founder members of the group, the piece is an interrogatory dialogue of speech and movement, questions and answers.



It’s an extraordinary record: six artists sustaining a unique partnership and creating work together for over 40 years. From its beginnings in Sheffield in the 1980s, through four decades of work in venues and festivals across the world, the multi-award-winning Forced Entertainment has earned a reputation as a unique UK contemporary performance company reinventing theatre on the international stage in simple and complicated ways.

In this 40th birthday year, Forced Entertainment plan to explore and (re)discover not only the company’s history but also its future.

For more information and tickets visit forcedentertainment.com.

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