Forced Entertainment

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20120618

Recorded over several months, this programme follows the creative process of the Sheffield-based, experimental performance group, Forced Entertainment, during a period in which they invent, develop, and rehearse their next big production, The Coming Storm. For the last 28 years, Forced Entertainment has built its shows around the same core group of six actors, working together under the guidance of artistic director, writer and visual artist Tim Etchells. Their productions are unconventional - somewhere between performance art, drama and dark comedy. 2010's The Thrill of It All, for instance, included deranged dancing girls, derelict comedians, and a soundtrack of Japanese lounge music, whereas another recent production Void Story, is a combination of radio play and graphic novel. Since the company started out in post-punk 1980s Sheffield, they have regularly impressed critics and audiences. And unusually for a British theatre company, they are also popular and recognised critically in Europe, partly because of their visceral, physical humour, and partly because of their risk-taking strategies. As the programme reveals, Forced Entertainment "evolve" a script by improvising it over a long series of workshop sessions, which the group have agreed to us recording. In this programme, Dickinson also follows the company to their co-producing venue, PACT Zollverein at Essen in Germany, where The Coming Storm receives its world premiere, prior to its first UK showing on June 19 at Battersea Arts Centre, as part of LIFT 2012 and London 2012 Festival. Creative intensity combined with a busy timetable, will make for an exciting and funny programme.