Sheffield’s Forced Entertainment were once the "enfants terribles" of the avant-garde theatre scene but, having been around for over 30 years, they’re now more like the elder statesman of contemporary performance. After forming the company at Exeter University in the dark days of Thatcher’s Britain, they moved to Sheffield where many other artists and musicians were taking advantage of free rehearsal space (read abandoned factories) and state subsidy for the arts (read the dole) in the Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire. They started off rehearsing in the same building as Pulp and performing their compellingly chaotic work at The Leadmill when it was more arts centre than gig venue. Three and a half decades later they are a world-renowned contemporary performance company regularly headlining theatre festivals in Paris, Berlin, Brussels and Tokyo among other exotic destinations.
How would you describe your work?
A 30+ year long attempt to reinvent theatre in simple and complicated ways – always with the dream of making new connections to audiences, finding a different voice or mode or ways of making contact, a different kind of dialogue or experience.
Trying to make theatre that speaks, now. Here.
It’s also a long long collaboration – an attempt to make work together, to share a journey about making things.