Forced Entertainment (GB) is an ensemble of six artists led by director and writer Tim Etchells. Formed in 1984, the group make original work for diverse art forms from their base in Sheffield, UK. Originally focused on making and touring theatre performances, Forced Entertainment’s work now spans theatre, durational performance / live art, gallery installation, video and digital media.
The group’s work has been presented throughout the UK, in Europe, the USA, Canada and further afield. The themes the company return to are life in cities, identity and sexual politics, the relationship of lived experience to the images of media culture, the nature of language, the attractiveness of chaos and the desire for order, and the need to confess. Forced Entertainment have been closely associated for many years with PACT Zollverein where they have presented a wide selection of their productions including ›Exquisite Pain‹, ›Bloody Mess‹, ›And on the Thousandth Night‹, ›Quizoola!‹ (all in 2007), the world premiere of ›Spectacular‹ (2008), ›Speak Bitterness‹ (2009), the German premiere of ›The Thrill of It All‹ (2010) ›Tomorrow’s Parties‹ (2011) and the world premiere of ›The Coming Storm‹ (2012). In 2013 Forced Entertainment premiered their large-scale piece ›The Last Adventures‹ at the Maschinenhalle Zweckel in Gladbeck during the Ruhrtriennale International Festival of the Arts. In 2014 they kicked off their 30th anniversary year in Germany at PACT with a rare performance of ›12am: AWAKE & LOOKING DOWN‹ which was live streamed to more than 8000 viewers around the globe. In May of the same year they returned with the world premiere of ›The Notebook‹ based on Agota Kristof's novel of the same name.
In March 2016 Forced Entertainment were announced as the recipient of the International Ibsen Award. This prestigious prize honours extraordinary contributions to art and culture and is awarded to an individual or organisation that has brought new artistic dimensions to the world of theatre. As the first ever group to win the prize, Forced Entertainment join a distinguished list of previous winners including Peter Handke, Heiner Goebbels, Ariane Mnouchkine, Jon Fosse and Peter Brook. Later in 2016 they premiered ›Real Magic‹ at PACT and will return in April 2017 to premiere ›Dirty Work (The Late Shift)‹.