The Coming Storm (3 stars)

The Coming Storm

Photo: Hugo Glendinning

Chaotic and occasionally revealing new show from Forced Entertainment

Forced Entertainment’s new show consists of six actors vying for a single microphone in a free-flowing, chaotic and occasionally revealing interrogation of stories and how we relate to them.

In The Coming Storm, tales of shipwrecks, sick relatives and stunt bikers are started, stopped and occassionally repeated, creating a patchwork of story snippets. As the central storyteller shifts, the remaining actors create a hive of distraction around them: costumes are changed at will, a piano is dragged on stage, dance routines begin unexpectedly.

Actors and the performance-making process are frequently sent up, and tonight’s audience seems to take particular delight in the group of thespians competing for attention on stage. There is much reference to the artificiality of performance (as you’d expect from these forerunners of postmodern theatre). And the frequent challenges to conventional storytelling serve as a reminder to just how ingrained our expectations of narrative theatre are.

There’s something interesting underlying The Coming Storm: a comment on the way we experience, interpret and ultimately desire stories, and how different those ordered tales are from the messy narratives that weave through real life. But in side-stepping narrative satisfaction Forced Entertainment doesn’t quite manage to replace it with anything else. It's an eccentric 100 minutes that doesn’t linger as it should.

Seen at Tramway, Glasgow, Thu 10 Oct 2013.

The Coming Storm

Forced Entertainment interweave multiple storylines, from love and death to sex and laundry, from shipwrecks to falling snow.

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