The seminal Sheffield based theatre company Forced Entertainment are to live stream Speak Bitterness from Frascati in Amsterdam on what is currently scheduled to be the evening that the UK exits the European Union.
The durational production by the internationally recognised experimental theatre group, lasts for six hours and features a line of six performers who take their place at a long table to face an accumulated catalogue of confessions. The litany of wrongdoing to which they confess during the show ranges from murder, theft and infidelity, to missed chances, false promises and political scheming.
“What better date than the scheduled eve of Brexit to mark a strong connection with colleagues and audiences in the European theatre scene. It’s a good moment also to add more confessions to the growing catalogue of this piece where the polarised politics, dissembling and deception, xenophobia and racism of the Brexit circus will find their place in the text that has been growing and changing since the piece was first performed in 1994” – Tim Etchells, Artistic Director at Forced Entertainment
First presented in 1994, Speak Bitterness has often been shown as a durational piece, at times lasting as long as six hours (as with this upcoming presentation), allowing the public to arrive, depart and return at any point. An exhaustive catalogue, the text draws on the diverse cultures of confession in, for example, contemporary chat shows, churches and show trials. Dressed in suits, the performers compete to confess the most horrific, amusing or convincing things. Speaking softly, they meet the gaze of the audience, drawing them into direct and intimate contact.
Forced Entertainment has worked at the forefront of new developments in theatre and performance for 34 years and has been a key player in the development of a truly contemporary theatre language. The group makes their work in Sheffield (UK) and tours their ground–breaking performances across the world. The work 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.