Jo Strømgen Kompani, The Convent

Review in Issue 18-4 | Winter 2006

How many nuns does it take to change a light bulb? Moving around the chores and rituals of their convent with a great sense of decorum and poise, these three pious sisters initially show only hints of the madness that is to follow. Then: spontaneous combustion. It’s all out in the open.

Like Pingu-on-Speed become these blasphemous nuns – blabbering away in an incomprehensible tongue, flapping about in black and white and engaging in lewd acts of absurd visual comedy that might not be entirely suited to a typical Pingu-loving audience. You can almost taste the mischief and the dirt of this production. A special kind of irreligious dirt this is – taking place, as it does, in the Aurora Nova venue of the converted St Stephen’s Church.

These are three nuns at the edge of the world, at the edge of their minds, losing their faith, losing their purpose. Amongst all this loss, there are things – quite unexpected things – that they find. Two of the nuns have a penile bulge beneath their cassocks, for one. Shock, horror. Oh no – they are only rolls of bread stuffed into their pants. Those cheeky nuns.

Exploding out against each other in true Lord of the Flies fashion, their convent gradually crumbles around them. Blood flies. Cassocks are ripped off. Voices burst wildly into demonic music. Then they row away: to what and where we do not know.

Beautifully absurd, gloriously irreverent and expertly performed, The Convent lets you breathe a sigh of relief (amidst the raucous laughter that is), relief that even the ones that might seem to have got it all worked out can be as mad as all the rest of us. Thank God for that.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2006

This article in the magazine

Issue 18-4
p. 25