Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare

Created 2015

A salt and pepper pot for the king and queen. A ruler for the prince. A spoon for the servant. Lighter fluid for the Innkeeper. A water bottle for the messenger…

In Complete Works six performers create condensed versions of every Shakespeare play ever written, comically and intimately retelling them using a collection of everyday unextraordinary objects on the one metre stage of a table top.

Forced Entertainment have long had an obsession with virtual or described performance, exploring in different ways over the years the possibilities of conjuring extraordinary scenes, images and narratives using language alone. In a brand new direction for the company, Complete Works explored the dynamic force of narrative in a simple and idiosyncratic summary of Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, histories and late plays, creating worlds as vivid as they are strange.


Conceived and devised by Forced Entertainment

Performers Robin Arthur, Jerry Killick, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor
Director Tim Etchells
Text Robin Arthur, Tim Etchells, Jerry Killick, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor
Design Richard Lowdon
Sound & Lighting Design Jim Harrison
Production Management Jim Harrison

Complete Works is a Forced Entertainment production. Co-produced by Berliner Festspiele – Foreign Affairs Festival Berlin and Theaterfestival Basel. Touring of the Complete Works project in 2016 is kindly supported by the British Council

Thanks to the Royal Shakespeare Company which commissioned Be Stone No More by Tim Etchells in 2012 for the World Shakespeare Festival - an early, development version of this project, as well as to the people who participated in that phase of the work