The performance

How individual are we, really? And to what extent are the choices we make our own? THE BREAKDOWN is a tribute to both reason and imagination, featuring an actor and a dancer, a table with a stack of old encyclopedias, and enough whiskey to carry the thoughts as far as necessary.

Who owns history? What of private history? We meet a broken woman who’s genetic passport has been stamped by multiple ancestors. Following her story back in time and geographical bends we try to find reasons for the mess that stands before us in the present day. The Breakdown is a little wooden boat that tries to navigate the stormy seas of a woman’s identity and physiology – where all that she is is also all that her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother were. We ask the ultimate question: What the fuck happened?

THE BREAKDOWN suggests that The Butterfly Effect can be imposed on genetics, cultural history, the mere chaos of human will, and the sudden impact of meteors. In an era where more and more people suffer from an inflated sense of uniqueness, it is time to question how unique we really are. Do we make our own choices or are we 99,9% a result of everything that has happened before?

THE BREAKDOWN is a Carl Saganesque chain of thoughts through everything there is and has been. Part of it based on science, most of it based on imagination. A wild ride fable through insignificant moments in time and space and the importance of being humble towards our short-lived existence. We are not unique, we are the sum total of everything. Accompanied by a rack of costumes, a trunk of props, and a huge cloth to project photo illustrations, the audience is taken on a multi-dimensional trip that leave no stone unturned.

Premiering: January 2020
Duration: 75 min
Available for touring: Fall 2020/spring 2021


Upcoming tour dates

Jan 30 2020 Den Norske Opera og Ballett, Oslo, Norway
Jan 31 2020 Den Norske Opera og Ballett, Oslo, Norway
Feb 1 2020 Den Norske Opera og Ballett, Oslo, Norway
Feb 2 2020 Den Norske Opera og Ballett, Oslo, Norway
Show full schedule…

Previously touring



Performers: Kate Pendry, Vilde Victoria Madsen
Text: Jo Strømgren, Kate Pendry
Direction, choreography, set design: Jo Strømgren
Costume design: Bregje van Balen
Lighting design: Stephen Rolfe
Music: TBA
Supported by: Arts Council Norway, Oslo Kommune