Created 1997

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“Headlines of disasters. Ships sinking, planes crashing, bridges falling. Predictions of Mishap, foretellings of hurricanes and terrorist bombs. Three executions. Winner of the Miss Universe contest…. Miss Uruguay. Lying dreams, good dreams, hurtable dreams. Weather rough and stormy, unsettled, rough with earthquakes possible.”

If each of Forced Entertainment’s pieces were a room in a house, Pleasure would definitely be the basement — a dark, scary place of surreal melancholy. With a soundtrack of old tunes played at 16 rpm, Pleasure takes you down the stairs to a strange nightclub at some drunken, half-magical 4am. Framed by the weary comical text from a cynical MC, Pleasure is about love, hope, modern life, the gods descending to Earth and TV dinners.

There are hopeless Hawaiian dances, a horny pantomime horse, failed William Tell routines and a catalogue of obscene words and phrases scrawled on a blackboard at the back of the stage. This latter part of the performance later became a video work of its own, called Filthy Words & Phrases (1998).

Pleasure was the subject of a South Bank Show documentary film On Pleasure (1997), directed by Alexander Kelly and made in collaboration with the company.


Conceived and devised by the company

Performers Robin Arthur, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden, Terry O’Connor
Direction Tim Etchells
Text Tim Etchells
Design Richard Lowdon
Lighting Design Nigel Edwards
Soundtrack John Avery / found sources

Pleasure is a Forced Entertainment production.