Friday, October 12, 2007


Title:The Convent
Presented: Jo Strømgren Kompani/Aurora Nova
Venue: The Arches, Glasgow, 11th October 2007

Three nuns live in a remote convent in Norway. They live a devout and frugal life - praying, meditating, and singing. But the daily grind has become too much, the daily rituals, the sheer isolation of the convent. So that little acts become informed by spite, petty little jokes played on each other, false miracles performed to gain advantage. Ganging up on each other, a turn at a time, with an increasing malevolence, until finally one of them is broken, and then things get really nasty.

The fact the The Convent is performed entirely in Norwegian is a little strange for a non-Norwegian audience. Other foreign language plays I have seen have come with subtitles or a translation track, The Convent comes with neither. However, don't be put off by this fact, as the piece relies more on tone and manner to get its point across. The way in which one nun deals with another informs the mood of what is going on, complete with the exageration of fine physical comedy. Through the piece we have moments of song, of dance, and of lighting effects, which round out the performance, to create an eccentric and atmospheric piece.

A play about 3 nuns, in Norwegian, is probably going to be just that little bit too out there for most people I would guess. But it is quite funny, and while I was a little bemused by The Convent, I did enjoy it.

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