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

Online tickets on sale September 1st.

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 Table Top Shakespeare: At Home Edition 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, 2020 at 12PM —  Macbeth

Fri, Sep 18, 2020 at 12PM —  Pericles

Sat, Sep 19, 2020 at 12PM —  The Merchant of Venice

Sun, Sep 20, 2020 at 12PM —  A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Week 2

Thu, Sep 24, 2020 at 12PM —  Romeo and Juliet

Fri, Sep 25, 2020 at 12PM — King John

Sat, Sep 26, 2020 at 12PM — Titus Andronicus

Sun, Sep 27, 2020 at 12PM —  Much Ado About Nothing

Week 3

Thu, Oct 1, 2020 at 12PM —  Hamlet

Fri, Oct 2, 2020 at 12PM —  Love’s Labour’s Lost

Sat, Oct 3, 2020 at 12PM —  The Winter’s Tale

Sun, Oct 4, 2020 at 12PM —  All’s Well That Ends Well

Week 4

Thu, Oct 8, 2020 at 12PM —  Richard II

Fri, Oct 9, 2020 at 12PM —  Henry IV, Part 1

Sat, Oct 10, 2020 at 12PM — Henry IV Part 2

Sun, Oct 11, 2020 at 12PM —  Henry V

Week 5

Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 12PM —  Henry VI, Part 1

Fri, Oct 16, 2020 at 12PM —  Henry VI, Part 2

Sat, Oct 17, 2020 at 12PM —  Henry VI, Part 3

Sun, Oct 18, 2020 at 12PM —  Richard III

Week 6

Thu, Oct 22, 2020 at 12PM —  Measure for Measure

Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 12PM —  Coriolanus

Sat, Oct 24, 2020 at 12PM —  The Merry Wives of Windsor

Sun, Oct 25, 2020 at 1PM —  King Lear

Week 7

Thu, Oct 29, 2020 at 1PM —  Twelfth Night

Fri, Oct 30, 2020 at 1PM —  Cymbeline

Sat, Oct 31, 2020 at 1PM —  Julius Caesar

Sun, Nov 1, 2020 at 12PM —  Antony and Cleopatra

Week 8

Thu, Nov 5, 2020 at 12PM —  Two Gentlemen of Verona

Fri, Nov 6 2020 at 12PM —  Troilus and Cressida

Sat, Nov 7 2020 at 12PM —  As You Like It

Sun, Nov 8, 2020 at 12PM —  Othello

Week 9

Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 12PM —  Taming of the Shrew

Fri, Nov 13, 2020 at 12PM —  The Comedy of Errors

Sat, Nov 14, 2020 at 12PM —  Timon of Athens

Sun, Nov 15 2020 at 12PM —  The Tempest

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

Table Top Shakespeare: At Home Edition is financially supported by the following partners: Center for the Art of Performance, UCLA; Kanuti Gildi, Püha Vaimu SAAL; Kunstfestspiele Hannover; Künstlerhaus Mousonturm; PACT Zollverein; Romaeuropa Festival; and Shakespeare Festival Neuss.

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