The Bristol-based company, which was established in the 1970s and has drawn praise from figures including Terry Gilliam and Mike Hodges for its absurdist style, will perform for the last time as part of a Christmas residency at the Southbank Centre.
This will include a return to the Purcell Room for its 2009 show The Colour of Nonsense (19 to 30 December 2011) and an interactive exhibition in the Spirit Level area of the Festival Hall entitled Theatre of Animation (2 December to 8 January).
The exhibition will feature a range of “fantabulous Forkbeardalia” from the company’s many productions, including life-size creatures, puppets, automata, films and cartoons.
Forkbeard Fantasy was founded in 1974 by brothers Simon, Chris and Tim Britton. Combining comic theatre with film work, they have toured extensively around the UK and Europe, alongside 'jaunts' to South America and Canada.
Speaking to Whatsonstage.com, Tim Britton said: "We had a 100% funding cut, which was quite a shock, especially seeing as we have always been considered quite an important part of the experimental theatre scene … It’s caused quite a stir and got a lot of people very angry, but there were plenty of others who suffered too.
"It’s not the complete end of the company, though we will have to knock our touring on the head. We’ll keep Forkbeard going and continue to do exhibitions and education stuff as well. But in terms of seeing us on stage as a company, The Colour of Nonsense is probably going to be the last chance. It couldn’t be more prescient as a show because it’s about an old artists’ union who are surrounded by young turks waiting to knock them off their perches!"
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