Forced Entertainment
Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home
Sep 17 – Nov 15, 2020
Livestreamed from Sheffield,
London & Berlin

If you are unable to view the global premiere presentation, each play will be available to view via the same access link until midnight of the scheduled performance date. After the initial presentation, each play will be available on the Forced Entertainment website to view for free on demand until November 30, 2020. 

After each Sunday performance, the performers will host a Q&A live on Zoom. To register for a post-show Q&A please email with the date of the post-show discussion you are interested in.

In 2016, CAP UCLA presented Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare, which comprised condensed versions of all 36 of the plays of William Shakespeare over six days on the stage of Royce Hall. Each performance was limited to a maximum of 100 people, so many of our patrons were unable to attend. For our 2020-21 Season we are pleased to be able to once again share all 36 plays with our audiences—only this time they will be the at-home versions where the six performers will restage the project online direct from their kitchen tables, each currently isolated in different places including Sheffield, London and Berlin.

The combined performances in Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare: At Home explore the dynamic force of narrative in relation to Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, histories and late plays. What follows is simple and idiosyncratic, absurd and strangely compelling and through a kind of lo-fi, home-made puppetry, the stories of the plays really do come to life in vivid miniature. Each play is intimately retold by one actor, sitting alone at a table alongside shelves lined with household objects and a collection of everyday products which become the play’s characters. A salt and pepper pot are used for the king and queen. A vase for the prince. A matchbox for the servant. A toilet roll tube for the Innkeeper. A water bottle for the messenger. 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. 

Forced Entertainment is a collective of six theater artists who have been working together since 1984. They have long had an obsession with virtual or described performance, exploring in different ways the possibilities of conjuring extraordinary scenes, images and stories using language alone. Their work forges a strong link between form and content, reflecting the belief that the form of a project—the kind of experience it presents, the contract it makes with its audience and how—is an inseparable and significant part of its meaning. Often described as being experimental or innovative, their approach to each work differs from project to project, taking inspiration from movies, the internet, stand-up, dance, bad television, performance art and music as well as from theatre itself. What ties the various strands of their work together is that the projects always strive to be vivid and original, demanding a lot from audiences and giving a lot in return. 

Week 1

Thu, Sep 17 at 12PM PDT: Macbeth

Fri, Sep 18 at 12PM PDT: Pericles

Sat, Sep 19 at 12PM PDT: The Merchant of Venice

Sun, Sep 20 at 12PM PDT: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Week 2

Thu, Sep 24 at 12PM PDT: Romeo and Juliet

Fri, Sep 25 at 12PM PDT: King John

Sat, Sep 26 at 12PM PDT: Titus Andronicus

Sun, Sep 27 at 12PM PDT: Much Ado About Nothing

Week 3

Thu, Oct 1 at 12PM PDT: Hamlet

Fri, Oct 2 at 12PM PDT: Love’s Labour’s Lost

Sat, Oct 3 at 12PM PDT: The Winter’s Tale

Sun, Oct 4 at 12PM PDT: All’s Well That Ends Well

Week 4

Thu, Oct 8 at 12PM PDT: Richard II

Fri, Oct 9 at 12PM PDT: Henry IV, Part 1

Sat, Oct 10 at 12PM PDT: Henry IV Part 2

Sun, Oct 11 at 12PM PDT: Henry V

Week 5

Thu, Oct 15 at 12PM PDT: Henry VI, Part 1 

Fri, Oct 16 at 12PM PDT: Henry VI, Part 2

Sat, Oct 17 at 12PM PDT: Henry VI, Part 3

Sun, Oct 18 at 12PM PDT: Richard III

Week 6

Thu, Oct 22 at 12PM PDT: Measure for Measure

Fri, Oct 23 at 12PM PDT: Coriolanus

Sat, Oct 24 at 12PM PDT: The Merry Wives of Windsor

Sun, Oct 25 at 1PM PDT: King Lear

Week 7

Thu, Oct 29 at 1PM PDT: Twelfth Night

Fri, Oct 30 at 1PM PDT: Cymbeline

Sat, Oct 31 at 1PM PDT: Julius Caesar

Sun, Nov 1 at 12PM PST: Antony and Cleopatra

Week 8

Thu, Nov 5 at 12PM PST: Two Gentlemen of Verona

Fri, Nov 6 at 12PM PST:Troilus and Cressida

Sat, Nov 7 at 12PM PST: As You Like It

Sun, Nov 8 at 12PM PST: Othello

Week 9

Thu, Nov 12 at 12PM PST: Taming of the Shrew

Fri, Nov 13 at 12PM PST: The Comedy of Errors

Sat, Nov 14 at 12PM PST: Timon of Athens

Sun, Nov 15 at 12PM PST: The Tempest


Funds provided by an anonymous donor and the George C. Perkins Fund. 

COMPLETE WORKS: TABLE TOP SHAKESPEARE: AT HOME is a Forced Entertainment production.

Financially supported by the following partners: Kanuti Gildi SAAL; KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen; Künstlerhaus Mousonturm; The Mondavi Center, UC Davis; PACT Zollverein; Romaeuropa Festival; Shakespeare Festival Neuss; Stanford Live at Stanford University; UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance and UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures. Also presented as part of Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s 2020 Time-Based Art Festival and Temporada Alta 2020.

Performance Credits

Conceived and devised by Forced Entertainment

Performers Robin Arthur, Jerry Killick, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor
Director Tim Etchells
Text Robin Arthur, Tim Etchells, Jerry Killick, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor
Digital Production Management Jim Harrison

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