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Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas To Receive Third Forced Entertainment Award


Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas To Receive Third Forced Entertainment Award

In amongst the stress and bad news Forced Entertainment are delighted to announce that the recipients of the 2020 Forced Entertainment Award (in memory of Huw Chadbourn) are Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas.

The Forced Entertainment Award (in memory of Huw Chadbourn) is aimed at an artist or company who is reinventing theatre and performance in new ways and for new audiences. The award comprises £10,000 closely linked to a substantial package of mentoring and subsidiary support, tailored each time to the needs and situation of the selected artist or group.

Established in 2018, the award is financed by Forced Entertainment winning the International Ibsen Award in 2016, and is named after Huw Chadbourn, an inspiring close friend and colleague and one of the founder members of Forced Entertainment who died in 2017. The award forms part of the company's efforts to feed back some of their own success into the field, and to offer support to younger artists who are reinventing theatre and performance in new ways and for new audiences.

Recipients Bertrand Lesca and Nasi Voutsas said: "We are truly honoured to receive this award. During a time of so much uncertainty, we are grateful for the opportunity this brings to keep doing what we love. It's hard to express how important Forced Entertainment have been to us as artists. Their work and the way they go about making theatre has been a huge inspiration for us since the very beginning. We will try to use this award to keep doing what we always have been doing which is make work and try to challenge our audiences. We want to thank our friends and family and everybody who has supported us and come to our shows. Thank you. Thanks FE."

Tim Etchells, Artistic Director, Forced Entertainment commented: "The Covid-19 crisis means that most people in the arts and elsewhere right now we are currently looking at survival strategies for an uncertain future - how to continue our work with and for audiences in a national and international context in which rehearsals and live performances have become impossible and where all of our touring activity (always the major element in our income) has been postponed to some as-yet-unknown future date. It's certainly, in that one sense at least, a strange time to be giving an Award.

We are nonetheless proud and incredibly happy to be forging a connection with Bert and Nasi over the next year and we're hopeful that the Forced Entertainment Award (in memory of Huw Chadbourn) will be as constructive and impactful for them as it has been for previous Award winners Nic Green (2018) and Selina Thompson (2019).

It remains a privilege for us to support younger artists who are making and remaking theatre in light of their own experience and concerns and Bert and Nasi have proved themselves to be inventive, resourceful and challenging performance makers who use minimal means and humour to excavate topics of significance and relevance. Rehearsal visits and face to face mentoring will no doubt shift to Zoom encounters for the foreseeable future but we are enormously pleased to be able to make the next year a bit less precarious for Bert & Nasi, and to lend our mentoring and other support to them and their vital, inspiring work over the coming year, working on organisational stability, and helping them answer the questions (logistical, artistic and philosophical) they're grappling with at this moment".

The two step selection process involved Forced Entertainment inviting nominations from professionals from the theatre and performance sector, who this year were: Doreen Foster (Director, Warwick Arts Centre), Roise Goan (Artistic Director, Arts Admin), Kevin Jamieson (Senior Producer, HOME), Gundega Laivina (Director, New theatre Latvia), Renny O Shea (Co-Artistic Director, Quarantine) and Lois Weaver (Activist and Professor of Contemporary Performance). The selection panel considering the nominations involved Reena Kalsi (Producer, Arts Admin), Lois Keidan (Live Art Development Agency) and Aaron Wright (Artistic Director, Fierce Festival).

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