Forced Entertainment to Live-Stream COMPLETE WORKS This September

The boundary-breaking Sheffield based Theatre Company Forced Entertainment are to livestream their Complete Works: Take Top Shakespeare project over nine days following a sold-out run at the Barbican earlier this year.

In Complete Works six performers create condensed versions of every Shakespeare play ever written, intimately retelling them using a collection of everyday un-extraordinary objects on the one metre stage of a table-top. The performances feature objects such as pepper pots, knives and forks and cheese graters in place of Shakespeare's characters.

Complete Works will be presented at and live-streamed from Theaterfestival Basel from 1-9 September 2016 giving those who weren't able to get a ticket at the Barbican earlier this year the opportunity to see all of the hour-long pieces online. Forced Entertainment is working in conjunction with the British Council who will livestream the performances on their site, in addition to the festival site and Forced Entertainment's.

Later in September Forced Entertainment will become the first ever UK based recipients of one of theatre's most prestigious awards, The International Ibsen Award, honouring extraordinary contribution to art and culture. Given every two years by the Norwegian government on Henrik Ibsen's birthday, the prize is 2.5 million Norwegian Kroner, equivalent to around £200,000. The first ever group to win the prize, Forced Entertainment join a distinguished list of previous winners including Peter Handke, Heiner Goebbels, Jon Fosse, Ariane Mnouchkine and Peter Brook. The ceremony will take place during the International Ibsen Festival at the National Theatre in Oslo from 20 - 24 September where Forced Entertainment will showcase a selection of their groundbreaking work including The Coming Storm, And On The Thousandth Night and The Notebook.

Ahead of the festival Forced Entertainment have today announced their intentions for the prize money, they said: "Forced Entertainment will invest monies from the International Ibsen Award in new opportunities for collaboration, training, knowledge exchange, mentoring and creative practice for artists in the field of contemporary performance. These additional projects lie outside the group's regular programme of activity and will focus on creating opportunities for less established artists.

"Making a dynamic contribution to the field of contemporary performance in this way, and turning the Ibsen Award into a generative force, the group hope to celebrate and strengthen the sector that has long inspired and sustained them, working to unlock the creative and subversive potential of performance in ways that benefit artists and audiences alike."

The full programme for the Festival can be found here.

The company has been making work since 1984 and is a key part of the contemporary European and UK theatre landscape, having shaped its development significantly over the last three decades. Their work is widely studied across UK and European university syllabuses as pioneering, trailblazing theatre.

For more information, visit www.forcedentertainment.com/livestreaming/complete-works-live-stream.

Forced Entertainment is a Sheffield-based theatre company founded in 1984. Touring and presenting their ground-breaking provocative performances across the UK, mainland Europe, North America, Japan, Australia and further afield, the group has sustained a unique collaborative practise for more than thirty years.

Led by the artist and writer Tim Etchells, the Forced Entertainment company includes designer and performer Richard Lowdon alongside performers Robin Arthur, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O'Connor. Over the years this core ensemble has been augmented by contributions from many guest artists and performers.

Forced Entertainment's 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. The group operates at different scales, shifting from intimate two-performer works focused on text, to spectacular productions with large numbers of people onstage.

Exciting, challenging, entertaining and questioning their audiences, Forced Entertainment have been key players in the development of a truly Contemporary Theatre language, and have inspired and influenced generations of UK, European and North American theatre makers.

Each of the group's original projects is developed through a deeply collaborative process that combines writing, improvisation, discussion and rehearsal. Their focus on creating an innovative theatre which addresses contemporary experience, issues and questions in a language born out of the times, has also grown organically to include gallery installations, site-specific pieces, books, photographic works and videos. The group has also created a series of improvised long durational works, lasting between 6 and 24 hours, which have played a significant part in their oeuvre since the early 90s. Live streams of these marathon performances have, since 2008, played an important role in disseminating the company's work and in building new approaches to dispersed, digital audiences.

The International Ibsen Award is intended to honour an individual, institution or organisation in the field of art and culture that has made an extraordinary contribution in the spirit of Ibsen. The Ibsen Award aims to stimulate critical debate about important social and existential issues.

The winner is chosen by the International Ibsen Award Committee and announced every two years in March, in connection with Ibsen's birthday. The award ceremony and symposium take place in September during the International Ibsen Festival at the National Theatre in Oslo.

The Norwegian government founded the award in 2007, and continues to fund it today. The winner of the award receives 2.5 million Norwegian kroner (approx. £200,000). There are no conditions attached to acceptance of the award, and anyone may nominate candidates. Nominations remain strictly confidential both prior to and after the winner of the award has been announced. Go to www.internationalibsenaward.com for more information.

The British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff - including 2,000 teachers - work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes.

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 16 per cent of our turnover which last year was £973 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally.

For more information, visit www.britishcouncil.org. You can also keep in touch with the British Council through twitter.com/britishcouncil and online at blog.britishcouncil.org.

Photo Credit: Hugo Glendinning

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