On 1-9 September, we host an extraordinary retelling of every Shakespeare play ever written from one of the UK’s most radical theatre companies.
Join us for our live stream of Forced Entertainment’s Complete Works: Tabletop Shakespeare on 1-9 September and experience an epic yet intimate retelling of Shakespeare’s work.
Over nine days, Forced Entertainment performers condense every Shakespeare play ever written into a series of lovingly made miniatures, played out on a table-top using a collection of everyday objects. The extended performance takes place at the prestigious Theaterfestival Basel in Switzerland. The British Council is live streaming it in order to make it accessible to a wide audience, as part of our commitment to share outstanding UK arts with the world. It forms part of Shakespeare Lives, our global celebration of Shakespeare’s work that takes place throughout 2016.
The core members of Forced Entertainment have sustained a unique artistic partnership for more than 30 years. The company’s work reflects an interest in the mechanics of performance, the role of the audience and the machinations of contemporary urban life. Forced Entertainment’s collaborative process – devising work as a group through improvisation, experimentation and debate – has made them pioneers of British avant-garde theatre and earned them an unparalleled international reputation.
“Full of mystery and childhood playfulness”
Over the years, the company has explored the possibilities of conjuring extraordinary scenes, images and narratives using language alone. In a brand new direction for the company, Complete Works explores the dynamic force of narrative in a simple and idiosyncratic summary of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, histories and late plays. It’s made up of 36 mini performances, each of which are 45 minutes long, and it creates worlds as vivid as they are strange.
The work has been well received internationally and continues to tour: the British Council is partnering tour dates in Poland, Italy and the USA. “Forced Entertainment takes us back to the original, essential element that is the story itself, full of mystery and childhood playfulness,” according to the Shakespeare Daily in Gdansk, Poland. “If you told me a few days ago I would feel genuine empathy for a bottle of Tabasco, I’d have probably laughed in your face and called you crazy,” says A Younger Theatre.
Find out more:
> Read an interview about the production with director Tim Etchells
> Experience an online festival of Shakespeare as part of our Shakespeare Lives celebrations with the BBC