Church Of The Sturdy Virgin - Dank Parish
2008-2019 | Secret Garden Party, Bestival, Vaults Festival, Boomtown Fair | Crew: 16 | Audience: 59k

Church Of The Sturdy Virgin

“All in attendance for the  recently departed… all oxygen swallowers, money spenders, followers of lies and time lenders, the end is near, but fear not for we are all virgins at the point of death. None of us fit, but our coffins will…. your death is our pleasure. “



The Church of the Sturdy Virgin is a surreal and macabre, comic and touching, immersive theatrical voyage exploring our connection with death. At The Church we believe we should all have a say in our final definition; a story is, as the saying goes,  only as good as its ending. Audience members are invited to look death square in the face and choose the manner of their final remembrance. In a fully immersive funeral parlour and chapel, audience members are cast as corpses, congregants and next-of-kin and enlisted to create bespoke funeral services. Our shadowy Parish lies on an unstable spiritual cross-roads… we must all assume responsibility for the final word… we are all in this together. Abide with us dear one

Take a turn through the dusty catacombs; down the boneless corridor, past the vale of tears, towards the light and back to the void. In shadowed corners surprises wait, gravediggers play ‘martyr or wrong-un’ with disinterred skulls, portals to other worlds open through coffins amidst shrines to the Sturdy Virgin. Explore the coroner’s hovel, listen to the medium in the Garden of Remembrance… ignore the subtle scuttling and shifting mists of the graveyard.

Interact with our Death Masters- the sable-clad funeral director and his cornetto-cold smile, chat to our bereavement counselors, learn how to dig a grave assist with the writing of wills, eulogies and obituaries;  what form should our sending off take? And what of grieving rites? Should we choose the cold austerity of Victorian repression? effusive displays of grief? or should we, in the tradition of the Aghori Ascetics, eat the cadaver?  There are decisions to make before the end.

" A really interesting piece of immersive theatre"

- theatre box

"Fun, hilarious"

- get the chance

"Missing future incarnations… would be a grave mistake"

- bbw

"Cast bubble with a strange energy"

- a younger theatre