The Convent

The performance

In a remote valley, three nuns are serving time in a small convent. Their spirit is about to reach rock bottom. Lack of signs from above is not making it easy. Nor is the lack of bread and water. Keeping track of the holy truth is a hard assignment – and even harder when you are hungry.

Doing theatre about religion is more difficult than ever. Especially when you want to harass the conformity of mass religion. People seem to get killed for their jokes every now and then. But Catholicism is rather moderate in such terms and turned out to be a good source for mockery and deliberate misinterpretation.
Theology is however not the target of this show. More likely the tendencies of people hiding behind a religious image in order to achieve other goals.

So why Swiss German? Switzerland is famous for its multitude of extreme sects. Maybe this is due to the topography of the country with convenient little valleys to hide away in. To audiences familiar with Switzerland this will underline the absurd tenor of the performance, complete with misinterpretations of religious rituals. For those not that knowledgeable of the conditions in Switzerland, the performance will give a general picture of religions’ ability to confuse, manipulate and divide.

Length: 65 min without interval
Language: Nonsensical Swiss German
Premiere: Montemor-O-Novo, Portugal, May 2006
Awards: Golden Review Award, Kontrapunkt Festival, Poland, 2009


© Knut Bry
© Knut Bry

Previously touring

Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United States


Direction, script, choreography, set design: Jo Strømgren
Original Performers: Guri Glans, Gunhild Opdal, Ulla Marie Broch
Performers 2010: Ulla Marie Broch, Hanne Gjerstad Henrichsen, Marte Stolp/Lena Kristin Ellingsen
Costume design: Catrine Gudmestad
Music: Mozart, Ruedi Krebs
Sound design: Lars Årdal
Lighting design: Stephen Rolfe
Assistant to director: Ingri Enger Damon
Photographer: Knut Bry
Producer: Jo Strømgren Kompani
Co-producers: BIT Teatergarasjen, Norwegian National Theatre, Bergen International Festival, Riksteateret, Teateret Vårt i Molde
Supported by: Art Council Norway, Bergen City Council, Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs