How The Time Goes

Created 2021

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Emerging from the delirious limbo of the UK’s third lockdown, How The Time Goes features the core group of the company in improvised Zoom-interactions with the pianist Marino Formenti, from separate locations including Sheffield, Berlin, rural France, London, Vienna and Budapest.

Filmed between March and May 2021, the work extends the pandemic strangeness of the group’s End Meeting for All (2020) to create a spiral patchwork of unedited fragments, neither diary nor fiction. As the work progresses apparently aimless unbroken video calls drift from theatricality to unexpected intimacy and back again, creating a world in which people cook, practice piano, dance and sleep online.

Recorded in a single live take each of the seven episodes last between 25 and 60 minutes, offering a mix of wry comedy and melancholic slow-time shenanigans as the group build on the porousness, connection and disconnection inherent in the new online situation to extend their long established modes of live performance and narrative deconstruction.

There are disputes about Quiz answers and talk about the weather and funerals. Someone cooks, another takes a bath. Someone else tries to explain the costumes in a Chekhov play. Times passes in loops. Piano music plays, the same tune again and then again.


Conceived and devised by the company.

Director Tim Etchells
Devised and Performed by Robin Arthur,Tim Etchells, Jerry Killick, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden and Terry O’Connor
Guest Performer and Musical Collaborator Marino Formenti
Sound John Avery
Digital Post Production Hugo Glendinning
Digital Production Management Jim Harrison

Music Episode 2  Franz Liszt’ Wiegenlied from Marino Formenti’s CD Listz Inspections. Appears with the kind permission of KAIROS.

Music Episode 3  Philip Corner: Chord: B Major / B♭ Minor 9. Performed by Philip Corner and Carles Santos. Courtesy Unseen Worlds

How The Time Goes is a Forced Entertainment production. Co-produced by: HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin), Künstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt a.M.), PACT Zollverein (Essen). A project within the framework of International Production Houses by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.