26 May 2008
Spectacular - Forced Entertainment - Sign

The new Forced Entertainment performance Spectacular is finally open, after extended sweat, toil and some changes of direction. The completed piece, performed by Claire Marshall and Robin Arthur follows a rehearsal process, and work-in-progress showings last year at B.I.T in Bergen, through which all five members of the core company were on and off the stage at various points whilst the project morphed repeatedly to find its final form. The piece premiered in Essen the week before last and we’re really pleased with the results. Spectacular plays the Pompidou in Paris this week from Wednesday, followed in due course by gigs in Theatre Garonne (Toulouse) and at Hebbel in Berlin in early July. In Toulouse the performance will be accompanied by a programme of other stuff related and spinning off from the work including my recent neon pieces, a programme of video I’ve put together featuring great work from Howard Matthew, Oliver Michaels, Aaron Williamson and the lovely Vlatka Horvat.

The sign pictured above didn’t make it to the final performance but who knows, maybe it can be a work in its own right at some point. Made as a quick mock-up for a full-on electrical sign (that of course never got made) we fell in love with the home-made cardboard one for a while before shifting our attentions elsewhere. Perhaps the best part was a period of a week where the letters dropped from the ceiling one by one, leaving an increasingly incomprehensible title above the stage and an accumulating pile of letters below. During the long discussions that dogged the process this pile of letters tended to get used in an on-going side-project/pass time for spelling new words, obscene phrases and general anagrams. Sometimes, looking around the room at the furrowed brows you could wonder if we were all thinking about the show or simply wondering what re-combination of the letters could possibly top RECTAL SAP. Hard to beat.

UK touring of Spectacular will be in the Autumn. It’s looking like a good piece – simple, strong and binary in its structure, yet pretty easy going, relaxed. There’s a nice sleight of hand to it I think. Really looking forward to presenting it around and seeing the reactions.