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Forced Entertainment

Forced Entertainment is a collective of six artists based in Sheffield, UK. The artists produce theatre productions and projects in other media and contexts.

Forced Entertainment is led by director and writer Tim Etchells.

Forced Entertainment first visited Norway in 1997, when performing three productions during The theatre festival in Kongsvinger.

Forced Entertainment received The International Ibsen Award 2016.

At Sceneweb, the Forced Entertainment entries refer to projects that has been performed in Norway.


(Objekt ID 3076)
Object type Organization
Organization type Theatre company
Main focus Performance, Theatre, Multidisciplinary art
Established 1984
Email fe@forcedentertainment.com
Website Forced Entertainment

Contact information

Address 15 Paternoster Row, S1 2BX Sheffield, United Kingdom
Email fe@forcedentertainment.com
Telefon +44 (0)114 279 8977

Other information

Legal entity Other

The newspaper The Guardian has called Forced Entertainment "Britain's most brilliant experimental theatre company". The company's work varies quite a lot, from projects that are very brash and theatrical to works that are very minimal and text-based. In everything Forced Entertainment does the company searches for ways to talk about contemporary experience. The artists aim to create exciting and intimate encounters with audiences.

Forced Entertainment was established in Sheffield in 1984. To begin with Forced Entertainment made theatre productions in a traditional touring format, but eventually the expression has developed into including gallery installations, books, video and digital media. Roughly speaking, one can say that the work is expressed along two main lines: One traditional performance format and another through different versions of so-called durational performance, that is, performances blowing their way out of the traditional format through their duration, sometimes lasting as long as 24 hours. This latter category is strongly characterised by improvisation and open communication with the audience. Improvisation is also included in performances within the more traditional format, because they arise from genuine group work made in a process often lasting for many months. A majority of the productions are directed and written by Etchells, but developed by the full company.

In 2004, at the occasion of the company's 20th anniversary, Etchells said the following:

"The landscape we've charted has been one of cities, late-night television, ghosts and half-remembered stories. The themes we have returned to are love and fragmentation, the search for identity, the edges of sexuality, the need to confess."

When Forced Entertainment was announced as the winner of The International Ibsen Award in 2016, the jury said the following, among other things:

"Forced Entertainment’s work does not rest with a single form, style or tradition, but represents a seeking and revivifying force; a continual creative exploration of what the theatre is and can be, in a way that has changed the theatre’s possibilities. An award to Forced Entertainment is therefore an award to the entire dynamic, challenging and collective process that is theatre, and to what theatre might be in the future."


BIT Teatergarasjen, Meteor 2007 and autumn program 2004. 07.09.2010: http://www.bit-teatergarasjen.no/

Ibsen Awards, www.ibsenawards.com, 30.03.16, http://www.internationalibsenaward.com/winners/forced-entertainment/

Contributors (7)
Tim Etchells – Text
Richard Lowdon – Actor
Robin Arthur – Actor
Cathy Naden – Actor
Claire Marshall – Actor
Terry O'Connor – Actor
Nigel Edwards – Lighting designer