Physical theatre at its very best in Winchester

 Type:Culture, Dance
 Location:England, Winchester

Jo Strømgren Kompani's production 'The Hospital', which The Guardian has branded "physical theatre at its very best" will be performed at the Theatre Royal in Winchester on 12 October.

04/10/2006 :: 'The Hospital' is set in a not so remote country where three nurses are stationed at a provincial clinic, a humanist outpost forgotten by both the sick and the healthy. They have very few patients - none actually. Something must be wrong, but no further instructions have yet arrived. The inevitable lack of motivation threatens to undermine their heroic nursery virtues and they decide to take counteraction by practicing exactly what they are educated to do - pain relief. The question is just who should each time volunteer to ungergo pain for the others to relieve...

Jo Strømgren Kompani was founded 1998 in Bergen, Norway. A repertory of 11 productions has been touring more than 40 countries, and about 80 performances are presented annually in collaboration with both steady and temporary co-producers. Acclaimed by audiences and critics and credited as innovative yet accessible, it has grown to become one of the most stable independent companies in Scandinavia. Artistic profile is described by extensive blend of genres, research on absurd humour, exploration of gibberish language techniques, the use of actors as dance performers, and a somewhat strange choice of themes. With layers of dark psychology underneath ambivalent wit, the audiences are invited to associate freely upon storylines and symbolism.

Jo Strømgren made his debut as a choreographer in 1994 with "Rechts-Links" after finishing his studies at the Norwegian National College of Ballet. Carte Blanche Dance Company in Bergen immediately engaged him for three years as a choreographer and dancer until he went freelance and started to create pieces for a large number of international companies (The Norwegian National Ballet, Ballet de l’Opera National du Rhin, Ballett Nürnberg, Bern Ballett and Wiener Statsopernballett). Engagements as a theatre director has increased the last years and pure text theatre now occupies half of his time at different state theatres in Norway. Apart from concentrating on Ibsen pieces he has also been active as a scriptwriter.

Reviews of 'The Hospital' in British media include:

"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 director and founder of JSK, 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."
The Guardian, Greg Hicks (August 17, 2005)

“The Hospital […] is made with a most pleasing hatefulness. Norwegian choreographer Jo Strømgren shows us a hellish field hospital with three slatternly, blood-stained (and extremely pretty) nurses playing vicious power games in nonsense language to fill time between admissions. Homing in on the sadistic humour that is peculiarly female, it's an enjoyably unwholesome pleasure […].”, Ismene Brown (August 16, 2005)

'The Hospital'
8pm, 12 October

Theatre Royal Winchester, Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8SB
Tickets £12.00, Cons £10.00, Friends £9.50
Box Office: 01962 840 440


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Nuns hanging from windows in a scene from one of Jo Strømgren Kompani's other successful productions, 'The Convent'Photo: Knut Bry / JSK

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