The Department

In The Department (2004) by Jo Strømgren Kompani four hardcore bureaucrats have for long been stuck in an office deep inside a government department. Secret message deliveries and bleeping lamps control their daily chores and the outside world has become nothing but a blurred memory. But they manage. Until one strange day when the smell of freshly baked bread fills the air. This turns out to have fatal consequences and soon there are signs of a revolution outside.


(Objekt ID 1538)
Object type Production
Premiere May 1, 2004
Produced by Jo Strømgren Kompani
Coproducers The National Theatre, Rogaland Theatre, Trøndelag Theatre, BIT Teatergarasjen, Bergen International Festival
Audience Adults
Language Gibberish
Keywords Dance theatre, Physical theatre, Theatre, Comedy, Dance
Running period May 1, 2004  
Duration 70 minutes
Website Jo Strømgren Kompani

Requirements to venue

Minimum stage width 13m
Minimum stage depth 10m
Blackout Yes
Rigging time 420 minutes
Downrigging time 60 minutes

In The Department Jo Strømgren Kompani showed us a world which is getting more and more confusing every day. People understand less and less about who really is in charge of decisions and how/why they are made. And no matter how complex and sophisticated we build our institutions and bodies of power, we cannot avoid the weakest link – the human. After all, the ones to push the buttons and pass on information are the closest relatives to the apes.

Touring: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Slovakia, Serbia, Macedonia, Holland, Scotland, Australia, Poland,USA

Supported by: Arts Council Norway, the municipality of Bergen, the Fund for Performing Artists, the Audio Visual Fund and supported on selected venues by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NordScen.


Jo Strømgren Kompani,, 29.07.2010,

Contributors (17)
Name Role
Jo Strømgren – Script
Jo Strømgren – Concept/Idea
Jo Strømgren – Direction
Jo Strømgren – Choreography
Jo Strømgren – Stage design
Cathrine Gudmestad – Costume design
Lars Årdal – Sound design
Stephen Rolfe – Lighting design
Trond Fausa Aurvåg – Actor
Espen Reboli Bjerke – Actor
John Brungot – Actor
Bartek Kaminski – Actor
Hans Jaran Skogen – Sound technician
Ken Ruben Theodorsen – Sound technician
Leila Sunniva Berg – Lighting technician
Lise Risom Olsen – Lighting technician
Ann-Christin Danhammar – Producer
Performance dates
December 13, 2008 Show
December 12, 2008 Show
December 11, 2008 Show
December 10, 2008 Show
Navember 15, 2008Studio Bergen, Carte Blanche Show
Navember 14, 2008Studio Bergen, Carte Blanche Show
October 24, 2008 Show
October 23, 2008 Show
June 15, 2008Studio Bergen, Carte Blanche Show
June 14, 2008Studio Bergen, Carte Blanche Reopening
October 15, 2004 21:00 – BIT Teatergarasjen, Norsk Dramatikk Show
October 14, 2004 21:00 – BIT Teatergarasjen, Norsk Dramatikk Show
May 30, 2004BIT Teatergarasjen, Norsk Dramatikk Show
May 29, 2004BIT Teatergarasjen, Norsk Dramatikk Show
May 1, 2004 Worldwide premiere
Festivals (1)
Oktoberdans October 14, 2004
Press coverage

Writer and date unknown, The Sunday Morning Herald [Sydney, Australia]:
"Painful truths in brilliant nonsense. Manic humour covers deep despair in this engrossing production from Norway. We in the audience may laugh hysterically at the antics of four men caught in the grip of an unseen yet unrelenting bureaucracy, but at the same time we can't escape their pain..."

Writer and date unknown, British Theatre Guide [England]:
"If you find this performance coming to a venue near you in the future kill for a ticket."