Screwed-up England and its characters channelled in strange, twisted, funny, cartoon-like innovative fiction that grasps our times better than straight realism.
Kings, lords, liars, usherettes, goal-hangers, gun-men and prostitutes, Whether or not these stories bear any relation to life as it is lived in Endland (sic) is not my problem and good riddance to all those what prefer to read about truly good, lucky and nice people – you won’t like this crap at all.
A series of cautionary tales for our digital age, Endland is comical and brutal, set in strangely familiar locations that at times seem like Thatcher-era Northern towns under military rule or post-Brexit council estates after a Farage party bender. And things are leaking into Endland from all over the place. Nothing is stable. Now is also then and next year, a landscape that is future and medieval at the same time. What’s more, the gods have started drinking at lunchtime, which can only lead to trouble. In narratives working a bit like poetry or cartoons, in empty tower blocks, midnight diners and bomb-site cities, Endland is a dysfunctional mirror of England.
The world fashioned by Thatcher, Google, IFOR, ICANN, Brexit, Big Brother, Bin Laden and Trump needs new tools to navigate them. These grotesque stories are close to the bone, and help us get close to the heart of the times we are living in.
Tim Etchells is an artist and writer based in Sheffield and London. His work shifts between performance, visual art and fiction. As well as being Professor of Performance and Writing at Lancaster University, he works in a wide variety of contexts, notably as the leader of the ground-breaking, world-renowned Sheffield performance group Forced Entertainment, whose prizes include the 2016 International Ibsen Award. He has developed a unique voice in writing fiction and exhibited work and presented performances in significant institutions and festivals all over the world, including at Glastonbury Festival, the Tate Modern and as the 2014 Artist of the City of Lisbon.