Forced Entertainment, Void Story

Review in Issue 21-3 | Autumn 2009

At the rear of the stage is a large screen. On one side a console desk, on the other side two desks with chairs. Behind the desks seated actors read their scripts as if for a radio drama, the words accompanied by Foley-style live sound effects that provide the soundtrack for a procession of projected black-and-white photomontage images. So what we have is an audio story with pictures (the text and the images by Forced Entertainment’s writer/director, Tim Etchells). The surreal, dark-fairytale effect is of a black-and-white British version of Spirited Away.

The first image shows a couple indoors looking out of a window – optimistic survivors in an apocalyptic nightmarish world, where there’s a fright around every corner and carnage outside of every door. Our domestic everyday heroes, Kim and Jackson, are propelled into a dreadful sequence of environments, encountering such horrors as a lake of shit and a van full of decaying meat.

On the forsaken tower block estate there’s an oddly menacing little girl holding a balloon, and a sobbing man. Then, a grim funfare with a fortune-teller who divines the future using drops of blood. A car stops. All we see of the driver are her eyes in the rear view mirror. She discusses her bleak life. There’s the hotel from hell, and in the street, a human ear nailed to a door, and a dismembered hand in a puddle which also holds the reflection of a bare tree.

The dialogue is vivid and the visual collages fantastic, each one could be a stand-alone artwork. Void Story is a stunning piece of work – gruelling, yet hilarious – I laughed out loud throughout.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 2009

This article in the magazine

Issue 21-3
p. 29