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In Performance: Forced Entertainment’s Real Magic (Coil 2017)

Forced Entertainment’s Real Magic

Thursday, January 5, 6pm
Friday, January 6, 3pm
Saturday, January 7, 9pm
Sunday, Jan 8, 12pm

PS122’s COIL Festival
at La MaMa, Ellen Stewart Theatre
66 East 4th Street, Manhattan

Forced Entertainment’s Real Magic is simple. Three performers play a game where one functions as host and the others as contestants. Contestant #1 has three chances to guess a word Contestant #2 is thinking. If Contestant #1 fails to guess the word the three performers switch roles. It feels like your typical daytime game show you watch to pass time. The catch is the game has absolutely no stakes. There is no mention of prize or punishment if they win or lose. Yet the game retains all the signals of stakes. We randomly hear the sound of a canned audience laughing and clapping and the sweat inducing ticking of clock. The simple situation allows the audience to have complex diverse responses that make for exciting after show discussion. Watching performers Jerry Killick, Richard Lowdon, and Claire Marshall “fail” at a game of infinite chances is real magic.

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