Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare At Home

Online, -, International, United Kingdom

Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 20:00 to Sunday, November 15, 2020 - 22:00

A salt and pepper pot for the king and queen. A vase for the prince. A matchbox for the servant. A toilet roll tube for the Innkeeper. A water bottle for the messenger. A kitchen table for a stage.

In this ‘At Home’ edition of Complete Works the dramatis personae of household objects return to a domestic setting in a unique staging directly from the performers’ homes to yours. These online shows are part of the official UK/Italy 2020 culture season via the RomaEuropa Festival programme.

Originally conceived in 2015, in Complete Works six performers create condensed versions of all of the Shakespeare plays, comically and intimately retelling them, using a collection of everyday objects as stand-ins for the characters on the one metre stage of a table top.

Complete Works has been performed in theatre spaces across the world as well as being webcast to thousands of international viewers, however, while a global pandemic has shut down stages everywhere, the piece finds an intimate new life by ‘coming home’. Rather than a table set against the red drapes of a theatre, the objects find their starting positions on Terry’s kitchen table or Jerry’s desk as if they’d just been taken down from the surrounding shelves and cupboards of each performers’ home.

Forced Entertainment have long had an obsession with virtual or described performance, exploring in different ways over the years the possibilities of conjuring extraordinary scenes, images and stories using language alone. Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare explores the dynamic force of narrative in relation to Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, histories and late plays. What follows is simple and idiosyncratic, absurd and strangely compelling as, through a kind of lo-fi, home-made puppetry, the stories of the plays really do come to life in vivid miniature.

Forced Entertainment’s Complete Works is the group’s first venture into Shakespearean territory and this ‘at home’ edition, presented over nine weeks, is a kind of quietly ambitious levelling and opening out of the plays. The project’s gently comic re-casting and re-telling of each play is also both a celebration of the stories’ power and a tribute to the durability of theatre itself.

All plays will be broadcast on the Forced Entertainment website at 8pm (UK Time – n.b. European Daylight Saving Ends 25 October 2am)

Week 1

  • 17/09 Macbeth - Richard Lowdon
  • 18/09 Pericles - Cathy Naden
  • 19/09 The Merchant of Venice - Claire Marshall
  • 20/09 A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Jerry Killick + Post Show Discussion

Week 2

  • 24/09 Romeo and Juliet - Terry O’Connor
  • 25/09 King John - Cathy Naden
  • 26/09 Titus Andronicus - Robin Arthur
  • 27/09 Much Ado About Nothing - Richard Lowdon + Post Show Discussion

Week 3

  • 01/10 Hamlet - Terry O’Connor
  • 02/10 Love’s Labours Lost - Robin Arthur
  • 03/10 The Winter’s Tale - Cathy Naden
  • 04/10 All’s Well That Ends Well - Claire Marshall + Post Show Discussion

Week 4

  • 08/10 Richard II - Terry O’Connor
  • 09/10 Henry IV Part 1 - Jerry Killick
  • 10/10 Henry IV Part 2 - Jerry Killick
  • 11/10 Henry V - Claire Marshall + Post Show Discussion

Week 5

  • 15/10 Henry VI Part 1 - Richard Lowdon
  • 16/10 Henry VI Part 2 - Richard Lowdon
  • 17/10 Henry VI Part 3 - Richard Lowdon
  • 18/10 Richard III - Claire Marshall + Post Show Discussion

Week 6

  • 22/10 Measure for Measure - Cathy Naden
  • 23/10 Coriolanus - Jerry Killick
  • 24/10 The Merry Wives of Windsor - Terry O’Connor
  • 25/10 King Lear - Robin Arthur + Post Show Discussion

Week 7

  • 29/10 Twelfth Night - Jerry Killick
  • 30/10 Cymbeline - Terry O’Connor
  • 31/10 Julius Caesar - Robin Arthur
  • 01/11 Antony and Cleopatra - Cathy Naden + Post Show Discussion

Week 8

  • 05/11 Two Gentlemen of Verona - Claire Marshall
  • 06/11 Troilus and Cressida - Jerry Killick
  • 07/11 As You Like It - Robin Arthur
  • 08/11 Othello - Cathy Naden + Post Show Discussion

Week 9

  • 12/11 The Taming of the Shrew - Claire Marshall
  • 13/11 The Comedy of Errors - Terry O’Connor
  • 14/11 Timon of Athens - Robin Arthur
  • 15/11 The Tempest  Richard Lowdon + Post Show Discussion

Post-Show Discussions

Each Sunday of the broadcast period after the 8pm (UK Time) performance, all the performers from that week will host a Zoom Q&A. To register for a post-show discussion on Zoom simply email with the date of the post-show discussion you’d like to join and we will get back to you with details in due course.

United Kingdom
Online, -, -
Part of: 
17 September 2020 to 31 May 2021

UK-Italy 2020: Being Present