An explosive take on the modern world 

Sheffield-based Forced Entertainment are back in their home city this week at Theatre Delicatessen with a revised version of a piece first performed in 1998  .

Dirty Work, Dirty Work (The Late Shift) is described as a provocative and intimate celebration of the power of language to make things happen.

Explains artistic director Tim Etchells: "It was one of those shows we thought had got more relevant and needed more and more to be done again because the world has changed and moved even further in certain directions

“So we took the opportunity to speak to that in a new version."

Two performers (Robin Arthur and Cathy Naden) describe imaginary performances which become increasingly  extraordinary and spectacular

Their  game of virtual theatre escalates, taking the audience on a rollercoaster ride.

"The first line of Act 1 says it all begins with five great nuclear explosions," reveals the director. Back in 1998 nuclear war wasn't on our minds as much as today.

"The other big thing the piece is about is the connection between the political reality we live in and the theatrical spectacular, if you like. Politics has become more theatrical thanks to people like Trump, Farage, Putin and the Saudis.

"And then the way the media and the internet which was scarcely with us at the time has taken us into the realm of clickbait headlines and vivid images and the issue of fake news which wasn't there back then."

The text has changed with about a quarter or a third of new material but the structure has stayed the same, he says.

"We went back to it a few years ago - in Korea of all places - as a one-off and felt it didn't go far enough and thought with the knowledge we have now and the courage of our convictions we needed to take a fresh approach."

From their base in Sheffield, the Ibsen Award-winning company tours their ground-breaking and provocative performances across the UK and the world.

They are currently focused on giving young people opportunities. A new version of That Night Follows Day, a piece for ages eight to 14 which had a rehearsed reading at the Crucible in Sheffield is being performed in London.

"It's at the Purcell room on the Southbank from December 11-15 as part of our associate company status and will be performed by a cast of 17 young people including two BSL speakers. It's exciting to be doing that as a full production with a diverse group and working with Deaf performers for the first time."

And in Sheffield they run the Art Breakers project on Tuesdays at Theatre Deli. It's a performance workshop open to all young people aged 12-16 and Etchells stresses that youngsters can come along from 4.30pm to 6.30pm any Tuesday in the 10-week term .and give it a go.

"I think it's important that we have our creative work and alongside that we can make a contribution and provide opportunitis for young people around the UK and  locally where we are. It comes a bit from the position we are in. We look back on where we have come from and want to give the opportunites we have had to other people who might not get it otherwise," adds Etchells.

There are performances of Dirty Work, Dirty Work (The Late Shift)  at Theatre Deli, Eyre Street, on Thursday and Friday, November 22-23.