Forced Entertainment and SpielArt Festival

A look into the history of the company with the incredible SpielArt Festival.

We’re over half way through a kind of mini ‘Forced Entertainment durational performance durational performance’ as part of SpielArt Festival in Munich. Starting with Speak Bitterness and following two days later with our first durational work 12am Awake & Looking Down we’re already a full 12 hours down and just the six hours of And On The Thousandth Night to do this Friday evening, running from 7pm to 1am in Moffathalle.

SpielArt is a really important festival for us. Our first performances there – with the theatre version of Speak Bitterness back in 1997 – at the invitation of director Tilmann Broszat played a good part in building the company’s profile in Germany and it’s a Festival we’ve returned to time and again over the years. The group’s landmark 24 Hour piece Who Can Sing A Song to Unfrighten Me? had one of it’s few outings there, and in 2003 we presented public work in progress for Bloody Mess, that heavy metal and smoke-machine infused monster which still ranks high in people’s highlights of the company’s works. SpielArt was the first place that artistic director Tim Etchells trialed his Broadcast/Looping Pieces solo, and the whole company has been back for shows ranging from Spectacular to Void Story and Tomorrow’s Parties. SpielArt has also been a context in which we’ve worked with younger artists – mentoring early works from the extraordinary Simone Aughterlony and Kate McIntosh, teaching students at different institutions in the city, as well as getting to see great work from other artists in the Festival such as Giselle Vienne and Faustin Linyekula.

The three durational pieces – which dig deep into different narrative strategies and approaches of the company – are both a celebration of our time with the festival to date and a public marking of our relation with Tilmann who steps down from his directorship at SpielArt after this year’s edition.

We’ve been very lucky, and very proud, to be part of such a long conversation with Tilmann, whose calm, unassuming and generous eye and vision for the Festival has helped bring Forced Entertainment’s work into such a long and warm relation with Munich audiences, and we wish Artistic Director Sophie Becker all our good wishes for the future.