The Convent

Premiére date10 May. 2006
Produced byJo Strømgren Kompani
CoproducersBIT Teatergarasjen, Bergen International Festival, The National Theatre, Rogaland Theatre, The Norwegian Touring Theatre (Riksteatret), Teatret Vårt (Our Theatre)
AudienceYouth, Adults (from 12)
ExpressionsDance, Theatre, Dance theatre
Running period10 May. 2006  
Duration65 minutes, no interval
WebsiteJo Strømgren Kompani

About The Convent

The Convent (2006) by Jo Strømgren Kompani: In a remote valley far away from urban society, three nuns are serving time in a small convent. The divine harmony is long gone and the friendly atmosphere is about to reach rock bottom. A complete lack of signs from above is not making it any easier. Nor is the lack of bread and water. As religious ceremonies and rituals are known to be confusing even to professional believers, their doubts and fears blend with misinterpretations and reach diabolic dimensions within the thick walls of stone. Keeping track of the holy truth is always a hard assignment - and even harder when you are hungry.

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Press review

Writer and dato unknown, New York Times [New York, USA]:
"Strømgren managed to create a small, whole universe of steadily escalating madness that was chilling but also hilarious and oddly affectionate."

Writer and date unknown, Ballet-Dance Magazine [USA]:
"These performers, under Jo Strømgren’s direction, project comedy, cruelty, pathos, and puzzlement so explicitly and with such punch through intonation, expression, and physical evocation, that the nonsense language they speak sounds clear as a bell, and you could almost fool yourself into thinking, afterwards, that they were speaking your mother tongue."

Writer and date unknown, The Herald [UK]:
"Ridiculously funny, genuinely brutal and hugely entertaining."

Elisabeth Leinslie, Fantisme i teatret (literally: Fanaticism in the theatre), 08.06.2006, Dagsavisen [Oslo]:
"The madness, in the humour as well as the nuns, too early and too often overtake the rest. Like that, this production overruns the dramaturgy it is based on. But even though the performers are in too high a degree enthralled by their own humour, they master the form. They switch between dance, song and acting with the greatest of ease. Rhythm, timing and interaction is as if cast in the same mould - and their outré expressivity is a wonder to behold."

More about The Convent

The language in The Convent was nonsensical. Jo Strømgren Kompani has for many years been developing the technique of communicating with verbal abstraction and creating its own international niche. Each production involves a completely new linguistic alias, inspired by a specific culture or region. This time the pseudo-language was like Swiss German or even more specific: the Bern dialect.

The company philosophy is to present potentially controversial themes with deliberate abstraction in order to maintain an associative point of view and under no circumstance force any specific opinion upon the audience. Worldwide success in more than 40 countries has proven that this hardcore nonsense manifesto is a valuable contribution to general theatre, being a reminder that theatre still has this somewhat forgotten direction to explore textually. For all audiences the performers did not even know themselves what was being said on stage so please do not panic.

Touring: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Germany, Scotland, England, Czech Republic,USA, South Korea, Poland, Spain

The Convent by Jo Strømgren Kompani wassupported by Arts Council Norway, the municipality of Bergen and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/MFA (travel grant/performing arts).

The Convent was awarded the Golden Review Award, Kontrapunkt Festival, Poland, 2009.


Jo Strømgren Kompani,, 08.08.2010,