Jessica in the Room of Lights

Created 1984

Back to projects

Using dialogue, taped voiceover, soundtrack and choreographed action, Jessica in the Room of Lights explores a blurred storyline about a cinema usherette whose real life becomes mixed with films she’s absorbed at work. Moving from the suburbs to the city, Jessica’s story — a failed romance — is retold in contradictory versions as a form of incomplete memory.

The first performance by Forced Entertainment, Jessica established many of the motifs and strategies that would be present in the work for the next five years — use of taped voice rather than live speech, use of soundtrack, choreography of actions drawn from narrative and an approach to storytelling based on the collision and contradiction of fragments rather than on linear unfolding of events.

John Avery’s soundtrack of Jessica in the Room of Lights has been re-released by the aptly named Belgian label Forced Nostalgia


Conceived and devised by the company.

Performers Robin Arthur, Huw Chadbourn, Cathy Naden, Susie Williams
Direction Tim Etchells, Richard Lowdon
Text Tim Etchells
Design/Lighting Design Richard Lowdon
Soundtrack John Avery

Jessica in the Room of Lights is a Forced Entertainment production.