Forced Entertainment, Pleasure

Review in Issue 9-4 | Winter 1997

Pleasure is Forced Entertainment’s sixteenth production to date and one which sees director Tim Etchells continue to explore familiar themes of fragmentation, mystery and unanswered questions. The show incorporates three women, a pantomime horse and a male MC and combines sex, memory and rage with numbing alcoholism. These characters, though disconnected by appearance, are united in their search for an answer to the question, ‘why is modern life rubbish?’

The drunken MC maintains control of the action. He plays records at 16rpm and talks disparately through a microphone about issues concerning human life. There is a sense of discontinuity between the MC character and the other protagonists. I found this relationship undeveloped. The role of the women throughout the piece is also open to question. There were, however, some wonderfully comic moments involving the horse and a blackboard upon which words or phrases which commented on the action were chalked. Chalk and alcohol are mechanisms which recur from previous shows.

Forced Entertainment are not frightened of ideas which violate and interrogate conventional theatre practice. At this early viewing the piece seemed undeveloped and disconnected in places. However, they should be praised for both their diversity and the originality of their approach.

Presenting Artists
Date Seen
  1. Nov 1997

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Issue 9-4
p. 25