Speak Bitterness

Speak Bitterness

Forced Entertainment

English spoken


Speak Bitterness is a six hour durational performance where the audience is invited to arrive, depart and return at any point throughout the evening. One ticket guarantees entry and re-entry.

On the originally planned Brexit night, British theatre company Forced Entertainment confesses guilt on the European mainland.
The company have taken on the impossible task of confessing to everything that has gone wrong – they will do so by turns humbly, airily, anguishedly, reservedly, jovially but above all resolutely. Among the litany of misdeeds to which they will confess are misappropriation, murder, and genocide – but also irritating trifles such as reading one another’s diaries and refusing to walk the dog. And, of course, the unprecedented political chaos in the United Kingdom.
Speak Bitterness is an (in)famous production from 1994 about guilt and atonement, based on how different cultures handle penance: in talk shows, parliaments, churches and show trials. Dressed in somber black, the performers will enter the fray.
The performance lasts six hours, starting at 18:00 hours and ending at midnight. 
Forced Entertainment – one of the most influential theatre companies in Britain – have explicitly elected to be on the European mainland on the planned date of Brexit. A political act of resistance against the impending Brexit, but above all a testament of solidarity with the European idea.

'A beautifully simple idea beautifully developed to create something clever, funny, mind-bending and profoundly humane.' The Scotsman 

'A brilliant originality.' The Independent 

'A wide-ranging and open-ended piece; it is its very randomness that makes it so fascinating, embracing many possibilities of interpretation….a thought-provoking and beautifully presented show…' The Irish Times 

'..powerfully, accumulatively affective' Time Out 

About the company
Forced Entertainment is a Sheffield-based theatre company founded in 1984. Touring and presenting their ground-breaking provocative performances across the UK, Europe, and the rest of the world, the group have sustained a unique collaborative practice for more than thirty years, producing work that explores and often explodes the conventions of genre, narrative and theatre itself, drawing influence not just from drama but from dance, performance art, music culture and popular forms such as cabaret and stand-up.

In 2016 Forced Entertainment won the International Ibsen Award for their unique and celebrated contribution to the field of contemporary theatre and performance.

Conceived and devised by the company

Performers Robin Arthur, Tim Etchells, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden, Terry O’Connor plus invited guests
Direction Tim Etchells
Text Tim Etchells and the company
Design Richard Lowdon
Lighting Design Nigel Edwards
Soundtrack John Avery

Speak Bitterness is a Forced Entertainment production

Commissioned by National Review of Live Art Glasgow