Issued Tuesday, 7 February 2006
Jo Strømgren Kompani
Exciting, rich and challenging theatre.
JSK’s production of 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.
The Guardian (UK)
Norwegian choreographer Jo Strømgren brings his first all-female production The Hospital to the Playhouse. This darkly funny dance theatre work, which premiered in Latvia in April 2005, runs from 24 October to 19 November.
Through a combination of physical theatre, a constructed gibberish language, evocative music and atmospheric lighting, The Hospital explores dark themes in an exceptionally entertaining way. Three nurses are stationed at a provincial clinic, but there are no patients. Something must be wrong, but as yet no further instructions have arrived. The frustrated women are driven to raid the drugs cupboard and victimise one another as their behaviour goes from cruel to increasingly crazy.
While there are elements of dance in this surreal tale, the strength of The Hospital is in its strikingly well-sketched characterisations. In this grotesque, naïve, funny physical work, Strømgren, who is not only the choreographer and director but also set and costume designer, proves that an absence of text in theatre can be extremely effective. In The Hospital, Jo Strømgren’s continuous exploration of nonsense languages is represented by a linguistic alias of Icelandic.
Jo Strømgren Kompani was founded in 1998 in Bergen, Norway and is one of Scandinavia’s most successful independent arts companies. Co-creator Jo Strømgren’s inspiration as a choreographer does not come from dance tradition but from other artistic fields including film and animation. He aims to explore dance theatre forms with actors not trained in dance and his company uses a mix of dance and theatre in its work, often adding puppetry, film and live music as well.
Renowned internationally for its distinct absurdist humour and its treatment of existential topics from a personal viewpoint, The Hospital is Jo Strømgren Kompani’s brutal but brilliant vision of hell at work.
Program Details: The Hospital
Venue: The Playhouse
Dates: Preview Tues 24 October
Season 25 Oct – 19 Nov, 2006
Times: Tues 6.30pm, Wed – Sat 8pm, Sun 5pm
Artists Talk: Sun 29 October (post show)
Tickets: Preview $35