Forkbeard’s meticulously assembled theatre shows are exhilarating live mixes of performance, sound, light, automata and film, always much more akin to an artistic extravaganza than a play. Pioneers of experimental multi-media performance from the mid-70s, Forkbeard have carried the flame of English surrealist lunacy to tremendous and insane heights over the years. There have been around 60 titled shows and countless one-off events that have toured all across the world.
Forkbeard’s street and outdoor shows often feature characters locked in relationships with objects. These objects might be body extensions, motorized gadgets, mechanical paraphernalia or complex working machines that actually ‘do things’ and serve a definite and believable purpose…however bizarre. The comic rituals and deadpan demonstrations inveigle the audience in to a delighted suspension of disbelief.
At the heart of all these shows is the trademark mix of film with live performance, where the actors slip seamlessly from stage to screen in a technique Forkbeard call “Crossing The Celluloid Divide”.
The surreal cartoon world both on stage and screen is populated by grotesque characters, outsize creatures and puppets with lives of their own. In the ingenious often mechanical sets there are always layers of surprise, special effects, technological ingenuity and digital trickery.
Some of the outdoor pieces are created for special one-off commissions: the hilarious Chicken Shed that arrived overnight on The Esplanade outside The Royal Festival Hall, The Acoustical Machine which toured the unsuspecting village greens of The Isle of Wight, the luxury travelling urinal the "Port-a-Pee" or The Wind Machine hired to generate the right winds for The Weymouth Sailing Olympics. Forkbeard have even created special surprise events for weddings and birthdays.
Other set pieces, like The Great British Square Dance created by Simon Britton in 1977, are designed for touring and can be performed almost anywhere. The Square Dance continues to delight and amaze audiences for its timeless piss-take of pecking orders and one-upmanship. The City Gents can still be persuaded to dust off the planks for very special events
For an itemised description of all previous Forkbeard Shows please click here
“A monument to great timing and invention” The LIVERPOOL ECHO
“The most brilliant theatrical event I have witnessed” MIKE HODGES Film Director & Writer
“Brilliant...quite marvellous to behold” The SCOTSMAN
“There is sparkle and wit to every element of a Forkbeard production” The GUARDIAN





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