The Travels

Created 2002

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Through the summer of 2002, members of Forced Entertainment undertook a series of journeys, each travelling alone to locations in the UK to complete tasks determined only partially in advance. These tasks — to get their fortune told, to find locations for an imaginary film, to ask tricky questions, to visit streets chosen simply for their names —presented the beginnings of a mapping process aimed not so much at the contemporary UK, but through it to something else — a landscape of ideas, narratives and bad dreams.

In The Travels, the performers are more or less present as themselves, sharing time and space with the audience, telling, recounting, reading and constructing the performance from evidence gathered elsewhere.

The Travels belongs to a particular strand of Forced Entertainment’s theatre projects — that of distorted, intimate and even fictional documentary. The start of this theme was a project called A Decade of Forced Entertainment (1994) which marked the company’s tenth anniversary and mapped the political and cultural landscape which gave rise to the company’s work. A Decade… was followed by Nights in this City (1995), a mischievous guided bus tour that rewrote and remixed the history(ies) of Sheffield and later Rotterdam, and more recently by Instructions for Forgetting (2001), a performance created from fragments of video, stories and letters donated by friends from different parts of the world.


Conceived and devised by the company.

Performers Jerry Killick, Richard Lowdon, Claire Marshall, Cathy Naden, Terry O’Connor, John Rowley
Direction Tim Etchells
Text Tim Etchells and the company
Design Richard Lowdon
Lighting Design Andy Clarke

The Travels is a Forced Entertainment production.

Commissioned by Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm (Frankfurt).