The Hospital

The Hospital (2005) is a production by Jo Strømgren Kompani. The text for the production is written by Jo Strømgren.

Jo Strømgren directed it.

In a remote hospital in Iceland, three nurses try to endure the lack of patients by injuring then treating each other, performing their duties on themselves as an alternative to the real thing. Not a healthy activity, but it passes the time and at least something is happening. A military chopper is constantly passing overhead, revealing a far simpler explanation for their problems.


(Objekt ID 5258)
Object type Production
Premiere April 30, 2005
Produced by Jo Strømgren Kompani
Coproducers BIT Teatergarasjen, Bergen International Festival, The National Theatre, Rogaland Theatre
Audience Adults, Youth
Language Gibberish and English
Keywords Dance theatre, Physical theatre, Theatre, Comedy
Running period April 30, 2005  
Duration 70 minutes, no intermission
Website Jo Strømgren Kompani

Requirements to venue

Minimum stage width 10m
Minimum stage depth 10m
Blackout Yes
Rigging time 600 minutes
Downrigging time 60 minutes

The Hospital was JSK’s first show with an all-female cast. Which came as a surprise to many due to the rather masculine image of the company.

The Hospital by Jo Strømgren Kompani became a confirmation of the company philosophy on nonsensical languages and the allocation of a local aesthetic to each production. In short – the idea of traveling around the world with something Icelandic, both in theme and language, would have scared most people off before even trying. But after highly successful touring in 22 countries, and still being very much alive on the touring repertory, it is appropriate to suggest that the usual preconceptions about language barriers should be reconsidered.

The first long international tour was completed with a month-long run at the Sydney Opera House, with daytime leisure on fantastic beaches full of men in tiny swimsuits, before the final stop and final verdict – Reykjavik. Standing ovation from the victims of the mockery itself was another sign of the company being on the right artistic track.

The company still thinks it should have gotten a medal of honour from the Icelandic Minister of Culture for their worldwide promotion of their culture. Considered also that Norway has been Iceland’s main enemy for 1000 years, the company effort is even more impressive. The company is still waiting for this recognition.

Touring: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany,
Italy, Australia, Greenland, Portugal, Serbia, Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Belarus, Iceland

The Hospital by Jo Strømgren Kompani was awarded Most Sexy Show, Dublin Fringe, 2007.

The Hospital was performed during the festival Heddadagene 2018.


Jo Strømgren Kompani,, 08.08.2010,

Heddadagene,, 16.07.2018,

Contributors (16)
Name Role
Jo Strømgren – Direction
Jo Strømgren – Choreography
Jo Strømgren – Stage design
Cathrine Gudmestad – Costume
Ken Ruben Theodorsen – Sound design
Lars Årdal – Sound design
Stephen Rolfe – Lighting design
Ingrid Enger Damon – Actor
Guri Glans – Actor
Gunhild Aubert Opdal – Actor
Knut Bry – Photo
Ken Ruben Theodorsen – Sound technician
Leila Sunniva Berg – Lighting technician
Lise Risom Olsen – Lighting technician
Tine Rude – Producer
Ann-Christin Danhammar – Administration
Performance dates
June 9, 2018Scene 2, Den Norske Opera & Ballett, The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet Show
June 8, 2018Scene 2, Den Norske Opera & Ballett, The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet Show
May 12, 2006Cine-Teatro Curvo Semedo Show
Navember 16, 2005Teaterhuset Avant Garden Show
Navember 15, 2005Teaterhuset Avant Garden Show
Navember 14, 2005Teaterhuset Avant Garden Show
October 14, 2005 19:30 – Studio Bergen, Carte Blanche Show
October 13, 2005 19:30 – Studio Bergen, Carte Blanche Show
June 15, 2005 Show
June 14, 2005 Show
June 5, 2005BIT Teatergarasjen, Norsk Dramatikk Show
June 4, 2005BIT Teatergarasjen, Norsk Dramatikk Show
April 30, 2005 Worldwide premiere
Festivals (2)
Heddadagene June 8, 2018
METEOR October 13, 2005
Press coverage

Eriter and date unknown, The Guardian [UK]:
"The Hospital is physical theatre at its very best: daring, dark, unpredictable and charged with compressed intensity. The skill and courage of the performers is breathtaking. Jo Stromgren steers this raw and unremitting piece with precision. He never lets us rest easy. A truly original vision is revealed here for anyone who wants their artistic perspective stretched to its limits."

Elisabeth Leinslie, Tomhetens kvelertak (literally: The stranglehold of emptiness), 01.07.2005, Morgenbladet [Oslo]:
"The Hospital is grotesque as well as naive, funny and deeply tragic. Strømgren develops his already well-developed, particular stage expression in the intersection between dance and theatre. This time with three actresses impressing with outbursts of energy and a wide range of expression."