Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home

Part of our Online events guide

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home
Image courtesy of Hugo Glendinning.

Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home, online, 17 September–31 December 2020 - Book now

Who needs household names and superstar casts when you’ve got Forced Entertainment and a collection of household condiments and objects. If you missed the live-stream of performances, Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare is now available to watch via the Forced Entertainment website at home.

Throughout September, October and November Forced Entertainment performed their Complete Works: Tabletop Shakespeare live to audiences at home via their website and Facebook page. Each performance was live-streamed directly from the performers’ homes using a cast of carefully selected everyday items and a one metre tabletop performance space. Now, the company have made all of these performances available to watch on catch-up through their website.

Who needs household names and superstar casts when you’ve got Forced Entertainment and a collection of household condiments and objects.

Forced Entertainment have been at the forefront of new developments in theatre and performance for 35 years, and are renowned internationally for pushing the boundaries of contemporary theatre. Earlier in the year and during the first lockdown, the company adapted their live performance practice to deliver End Meeting for All – a new performance in three parts taking the structure of a Zoom meeting. Now, the company have translated Complete Works, originally conceived in 2015 and performed in theatre spaces around the world, to the intimacy of each performers’ home.

Each Shakespearean character is comically re-cast as a household object and the performer’s kitchen table or desk becomes the stage. You’ll find potato mashers and torches representing characters such as King John and Romeo, in a kind of lo-fi, home-made puppetry style. Compelling though simple, the characters spring to life as each story is re-told by a member of Forced Entertainment.

Of the project, Director Tim Etchells says, “The table top can stage the most intense psychological interactions and journeys, the most complex historical events and the most ridiculous comical confusions. With an informal energy that’s more YouTube tutorial than Stratford-Upon-Avon the performances are compelling and intimate and always a little comical, a little absurd, but what’s important for us that they do really, in their own ways, succeed in bringing the plays to life”.

The ultimate testimony to the resilience and versatility of theatre.

Each performance offers a fresh take on a Shakespearean classic and a new viewpoint on old characters. Above all, Complete Works is the ultimate testimony to the resilience and versatility of theatre.

If you’re looking for more cultural stuff to enjoy at home – do take a look at our guide for more online things to do.

Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home, online

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