Void Story is performed by four actors, sitting behind tables, behind microphones and sound desks while the visuals are supplied by a series of badly Photoshop-ed images projected onto the big screen. And they still manage to bring the audience completely into their world.
My favourite kind of theatre is one that creates it’s own little universe, that recognises it’s futile to chase after realism and instead brings a brand new world to the stage. One of the things Forced Entertainment do a lot is show the artifice of a theatre production; so actors will change their costumes on stage, or wear signs with their character’s name or profession so you know who they are pretending to be.
In Void Story, the background images don’t try to be true to life. Each one is obviously made from three or other photographs stuck together haphazardly, so you can clearly see the joins. They are like the collages children make. They look completely off-kilter and are completely right for the story.
The story is about a day that goes from bad to worse two characters, Kim and Jackson. They are shot at, forced to leave their home, chased through sewers by armed guards, kidnapped, threatened by small children, attacked by bears and worse. But this is all told with a wry humour. I had forgotten how funny Forced Entertainment are but within the first five minutes, the audience were laughing enthusiastically at poor Kim and Jackson’s misfortunes. Though by the end, we’d become quite attached to the pair of them.
I really enjoyed it. It had a wonderful style all of it’s own, and even though it was set in the most depressing and desperate world ever, it didn’t feel that far from reality.
I have finally seen Forced Entertainment and I was very impressed by them!