Outside a town is an abandoned house. One day two persons appear from different directions. They stand on either side of the house and think “I can live here!” One is an old sailor who has finally gone ashore. The other is a little girl who has run away from the orphanage.
They meet in the kitchen. None of them knows what to do, but both believe that they came first.
From there the story begins of how they agree to live together. This proves to be difficult. Both will do things their own way and none of them has much experience with either house or kitchen. And both are equally stubborn. But the sailor has always wanted a daughter and the girl has always wanted a father. Slowly but surely, they manage to find a common system. And slowly they begin to like each other. They even have quite a lot of fun together.
The Kitchen presents a fun but thought-provoking story where the theme is in multiple parallel levels. On the surface it’s about how two very different people, despite large differences, can create a co-existence. Not only as a compromise, but as an everyday symbiotic relationship, in which both are happier than before. The underlying associations may go to the challenges of the multicultural life in Norway and the rest of the world, eternal bilateral political disputes, and if you want to read the play with depth perception – clash of different civilizations. Our experience is that elegant and clever use of simple symbols is the most evocative, which also provides content for adults and parents. The theme is so universal that adults can discuss further with the children at the level they want. Our ambition is to provide a basis for explaining the world’s problems in an elementary way.
Ambitions as described above are however worthless unless the show works on the more concrete level. Absurd humor and a surprising course of action is the performance’s spine. As with our other productions, movement and choreographed situations is an important element. The two performers act, dance, and manipulate objects. The action is accompanied by a pre-recorded voice-over. The voice-over can be translated into different languages for international touring.
The Kitchen is Jo Strømgren Kompani’s first production made specifically for children and is a co-production with Brageteatret.
Duration: 45 min
Language: Voice-over in Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Icelandic or English. Other languages is available on demand.
Premiere: Brageteatret, Drammen, Norway, November 1st 2013
In co-production with Brageteatret.
Norwegian Jo Strømgren has the courage to make anarchistic theatre for children […] Strømgren has read his Pippi Longstockings, but he creates the story uniquely.Kaleva, Finland
The text is absurd, witty, poetical, and… extremely well written.Periskop, Norway
Although they didn’t speak Finnish all the time the audience could still understand the plot and the story. Their facial expression and gestures were easy to understand.Fanni (12), Oulu, Finland
Previously touringDenmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway
Direction, choreography, text: Jo Strømgren
Performers: Ulla Marie Broch/Gisle Hass/Ivar Sverrisson, Hanne Gjerstad Henrichsen/Gunhild Hjertaas/Guri Glans
Set design, props: Jo Strømgren
Lighting design: Stephen Rolfe
Sound design: Audun Melbye
Music: Viljo Vesterinen
Producers: Jo Strømgren Kompani v/ Sunniva Steine
Supported by:: Spenn.no, Arts Council Norway