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Pinchbeck, M., 2014.

Or in the future: Utopian and dystopian dramaturgy in Forced Entertainment's Tomorrow's Parties

Output Type:Conference paper
Publication:What Happens Now: 21st Century Writing in English

This paper takes Forced Entertainment?s performance, Tomorrow?s Parties, and casts a dramaturgical eye on how the text enacts and erases a series of utopias and dystopias. Standing still on wooden pallets for over an hour, two performers, one woman and one man, describe and then discard a string of fictive futures. Illuminated by coloured light bulbs that fade out over the duration of the performance, the pallets represent both a life raft and a soapbox for these two lost politicians of hypothesis, building on and deconstructing each other?s arguments about life in the future. The paper imagines the text as a shifting landscape of potential that ebbs and flows and questions notions of politics, gender, ethics and environment. With reference to the company?s devising processes drawing on Tim Etchell?s practice of iterative writing and Austin?s notion of the ?performative?, the paper explores how the text corrects itself, questions its logic and reflects on its origins. Tomorrow?s Parties is a post-dramatic text that sits somewhere between science fiction and fantasy and touches upon terror and catastrophe. It predicts and undermines the endgame of the world but also the endgame we play when we are making the world of a performance.