Brexit in reverse: England is at war with the rest of Europe when in the middle of the battle John gives his Kingdom to the Pope. But the Pope doesn’t want it and gives it back again.
In Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare six performers create condensed versions of all of the Shakespeare plays, comically and intimately retelling them, using a collection of everyday objects as stand-ins for the characters on the one metre stage of an ordinary table top.
Forced Entertainment have long had an obsession with virtual or described performance, exploring in different ways over the years the possibilities of conjuring extraordinary scenes, images and stories using language alone.
In a brand new direction for the company, Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare explores the dynamic force of narrative in a simple and idiosyncratic summary of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, histories and late plays, creating worlds as vivid as they are strange.
Forced Entertainment’s Complete Works is the first time they’ve approached dramatic literature and the Shakespearean legacy. The result is a kind of levelling of the plays – a gently comic re-casting of them via objects from the kitchen cabinet and grocery store shelves – as well as a celebration of their power as stories, and the act of storytelling and theatre itself.
‘Casting household items invites the audience to be part of the imaginative process so that we believe pots of jam might blush.’ The Guardian
‘When I saw that I had The Taming of the Shrew, my first response was of dread: this is just sexist nonsense.’ The Guardian
‘If you told me a few days ago I would feel genuine empathy for a bottle of Tabasco, I’d have probably laughed in your face and called you crazy.’ A Younger Theatre
‘You find yourself watching the box of matches for a trace of a protagonist’s guilt, staring at the large bottle of wood glue for signs of a supporting character’s dilemma, or wondering about the fate and motives of an allspice jar.’ Exeunt Magazine-Tim Etchells