I first heard of Forced Entertainment when I was studying drama in the UK. One of our teachers didn’t turn up for class one day and because there was no-one else available, a small, old fashioned television was wheeled in on a trolley and we were forced to watch Club of No Regrets. It was like sticking a video on to keep up the class quiet. I was 23 and this felt too much like school. This might be why I took against Forced Entertainment at first.
It was also a really bad recording, with terrible sound quality was terrible on an old, crackly video. It was not the best introduction to any theatre company.
We saw other clips of there work though out uni, though they were always badly made recordings on old video tapes. I didn’t understand what they were trying to do and it all seemed a bit too self-indulgent and annoying.
Then I read Certain Fragments and suddenly it all made sense. Tim Etchells’ essays made it clear what they were trying to do, much better than the old, badly-made recordings. And I really liked the ideas and the performance texts from the Forced Entertainment shows. It made me want to see how they combined all these elements and what they actually did onstage. That was almost three years now and I still haven’t seen them live.
But this is about to change! I’m going to see Void Story in the Project this Thursday. I’m a little bit excited about it. I’m really looking forward to it and have been since I bought my ticket last November. There’s going to be a post-show discussion and everything!
The show itself sounds strange and interesting – “part radio play, graphic novel, science fiction and fable” and I think it will be a much better introduction than my previous one!
There are still tickets available if you want to come and see for yourself what they’re all about. And if you’re not in Dublin, you can still enjoy Tim Etchells’ imaginary event calendar at Vacuum Days.