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Press Release - Forced Entertainment confirm 2024 UK dates

Jan McNulty

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23 April 2024


Forty years of tearing up the rulebook










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


Listings Information 

23 & 24 May To Move in Time Birmingham Rep

10 & 11 October UK Premiere Signal to Noise Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall

12 & 13 October Go On Like This Tim Etchells & Tony Buck  Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room

16 - 17 October Signal to Noise Cambridge Junction

23 - 24 October Signal to Noise ACCA Brighton 

31 Oct - 2 Nov Shown and Told The Place

5 - 9 November

12-16 November L’Addition Battersea Arts Centre

11 November 12am: Awake & Looking Down Southbank Centre’s Clore Ballroom (Royal Festival Hall)

19 - 23 November If All Else Fails Battersea Arts Centre



Notes to Editors

Signal to Noise
Conceived and devised by the company 

Director Tim Etchells
Devised and performed by Robin Arthur, Seke Chimutengwende, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor

Dramaturgy Tyrone Huggins

Lighting Design Nigel Edwards

Production Management Jim Harrison

Producer Eileen Evans

Touring Technical Manager Alex Fernandes



Director Tim Etchells
Text Tim Etchells with Bertrand Lesca & Nasi Voutsas

Devised and performed by Bertrand Lesca & Nasi Voutsas

Lighting Design Alex Fernandes

Composer & Sound Design Graeme Miller

Production Management Forced Entertainment

Producer Eileen Evans


To Move in Time
Writer & Director Tim Etchells

Performer & Collaborator Tyrone Huggins

Assistant Director Hester Chillingworth

Lighting Design Jim Harrison

Production Management Jim Harrison

Producer Eileen Evans


If All Else Fails
Conceived and devised by the company 

Director Tim Etchells
Devised and performed by Seke Chimutengwende & Cathy Naden

With input from Robin Arthur, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall and Terry O’Connor 

Dramaturgy Tyrone Huggins

Lighting Design Jim Harrison

Sound Design John Avery, Tim Etchells 
Production Management Jim Harrison

Producer Eileen Evans


Go On LIke This

A Time Etchells & Tony Buck Collaboration


12am: Awake & Looking Down

Conceived and devised by Forced Entertainment 

Director Tim Etchells
Performers Robin Arthur, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor (TBC)
Direction Tim Etchells
Design Richard Lowdon

Lighting Design Nigel Edwards and Richard Lowdon 
Soundtrack John Avery 

Producer Eileen Evans


Shown and Told

Created and performed by Meg Stuart and Tim Etchells

Technical realisation Gilles Roosen and Jitkse Vandenbussche

Production manager Annabel Heyse

Production Damaged Goods




Forced Entertainment

Forced Entertainment is a group of six artists based in Sheffield. Touring and presenting their ground-breaking provocative performances across the UK, mainland Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and further afield, the group have sustained a unique collaborative practise for more than thirty-five years.


Led by the artist and writer Tim Etchells, the Forced Entertainment company includes designer and performer Richard Lowdon alongside performers Robin Arthur, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor. Over the years this core ensemble has been augmented by contributions from many guest artists and performers.


Forced Entertainment’s work explores and often explodes the conventions of genre, narrative and theatre itself drawing influence not just from drama but from dance, performance art, music culture and popular forms such as cabaret and stand-up. The group operate at different scales, shifting from intimate two-performer works focused on text, to spectacular productions with large numbers of people onstage. We also work with young people in Sheffield and other cities in workshops and longer projects, to help them develop creative skills and thinking and to make performances and other works of their own.


Exciting, challenging, entertaining and questioning, Forced Entertainment has been a key player in the development of a truly contemporary theatre language, and is recognised as a world leader in the field of contemporary performance practice - contributing enormously to the growth and development of British theatre, the debate about the form itself, as well as influencing several generations of younger artists who have been inspired by the work. In 2016 the group were awarded the International Ibsen Award, which honours an individual, institution or organisation that has brought new artistic dimensions to the world of theatre, joining distinguished previous winners Peter Brook, Heiner Goebbels, Jon Fosse, Ariane Mnouchkine and Peter Handke as recipients of this prestigious prize.



Tim Etchells

Tim Etchells is an artist and a writer based in the UK whose work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. 


Etchells has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader of the world-renowned Sheffield-based performance group Forced Entertainment. Recent publications include Vacuum Days(Storythings, 2012) and While You Are With Us Here Tonight (LADA, 2013). Etchells’ work has been shown recently at Cubitt, Hayward Gallery and Bloomberg SPACE in London, at Turner Contemporary and Compton Verney in the UK, at Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands Media Art Institute (Amsterdam) and MUHKA (Antwerp).


Currently Professor of Performance & Writing at Lancaster University, he was a Tate / Live Art Development Agency 'Legacy: Thinker In Residence’ Award winner in 2008, Artist of the City of Lisbonin 2014 and he received the prestigious Spalding Gray Award in February 2016. 


Bert and Nasi

Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutas are a contemporary performance duo that met in 2015 and have since created an entire repertoire of shows in the midst of a period of national and international austerity. Their work, in turn, is stripped back and minimalist though it deals with complex ideas and emotions. Their shows lie somewhere between performance, dance and theatre but if you had to pin them down on it, they'd probably say it's theatre. 


In each of their shows, they celebrate the encounter with the audience deconstructing the model of live performance. They always seek to create a sincere and intimate connection with the spectators. Their shows have a nostalgic feel of an old friendship that you didn't know existed.

Together they have performed their shows on the international stages of PuSh Festival (Canada), Festival de Otoño (Spain), Sarajevo Mess (Bosnia), Adelaide International Festival (Australia), InTeatro (Italy), Avignon Festival (France) as well as MiTsp (Brazil). 

In 2020, Bert and Nasi received the Forced Entertainment Award in memory of Huw Chadbourn, which celebrates the work of contemporary artists reinventing theatre and performance in new ways and for new audiences.



Tony Buck

Tony is regarded as one of Australia’s most creative and adventurous exports, with vast experience across the globe. As a drummer, percussionist, improviser, guitarist, video maker and producer, he has been involved in a highly diverse array of projects but is probably best known around the world as a member of the trio “The Necks”.


Apart from The Necks he has played, toured or recorded with Jon Rose, Otomo Yoshihide, John Zorn, T. Cora, Phil Minton, Haino, Even Parker, The Machine for Making Sense, Lee Ranaldo, Ne Zhdall, The EX, Clifford Jordan, Ground Zero …


Current projects include a LIVE solo adaption of the UNEARTH music, incorporating installations, video, drums and guitar; “Spill” with Magda Mayas; “Transmit” (a guitar driven post-rock project); New York based trio “Glacial” (with David Watson and Lee Ranaldo); “Circadia” (with Kim Myhr, David Stackenas and Joe Williamson); a long standing duo with Axel Doerner as well as a continuing in ad hoc and improvised performance settings.


Seke Chimutengwende

Seke Chimutengwende is a choreographer, performer, movement director and teacher; he has performed for numerous dance companies including DV8 Physical Theatre and Lost Dog. He is currently working as a performer with Forced Entertainment and Sue MacLaine Company. 


Seke has also been practising completely improvised performance, using movement and text, since 2006. He has performed over 70 solo improvisations internationally and has performed ensemble improvisation with numerous dancers, actors and musicians.

His recent choreographies include Black Holes, a collaboration with Alexandrina Hemsley, (British Council’s Edinburgh Showcase 2019), the solo Plastic Soul (The Yard Theatre 2019), and Detective Work, a duet with Stephanie McMann (commissioned by NEUROLIVE 2021). Seke is currently making It begins in darkness, which will premiere in September 2022, a group choreography looking at ghosts and haunted houses as metaphors for how histories of slavery and colonialism haunt the present. He will also be making a new group work for Candoco Dance Company in 2022. 


Seke regularly teaches improvisation at The Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance, London Contemporary Dance School, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, and Goldsmiths University, among others. Seke studied dance at Lewisham College 1999 - 2001 and London Contemporary Dance School 2001 – 2004 and went on to train extensively in improvisation with a variety of practitioners and with Andrew Morrish in particular.


Tyrone Huggins 

Tyrone has over 40 years’ experience as an actor and performer. He was co-founder of the experimental, visual theatre company Impact Theatre Co-operative in 1979, touring nationally and internationally in thirteen devised productions over five years before working with other companies including Temba, People Show, Hesitate & Demonstrate, Talawa, Paines Plough and Graeme Miller Company. 


He has predominantly performed in new writing. Recent acting credits include Black Men Walking by Testament for Eclipse Theatre (with Royal Exchange/Royal Court); Always Orange by Fraser Grace and Fall of the Kingdom, Rise of the Foot Soldier by Somalia Seaton for RSC; Opening Skinner’s Box devised for Improbable (with Northern Stage/West Yorkshire Playhouse); The Honey Man by Tyrone Huggins for Judy Owen Ltd. (with Birmingham Repertory Theatre).



Meg Stuart (Damaged Goods)

Meg Stuart is a choreographer and dancer who lives and works in Berlin and Brussels. In collaboration with her company Damaged Goods she has realised over 30 productions, moving freely between the genres of dance, theatre and visual art. Tim Etchells is an artist and a writer based in the UK whose work shifts between visual art, performance and fiction. He is the leader of the world-renowned Sheffield-based performance group Forced Entertainment. After having collaborated on texts for her pieces for many years, Shown and Told is Tim’s first joint creation with Meg Stuart.

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