Based on Nobel Prize-winning author Knut Hamson’s classic novel, Hunger is a delightful play that scrutinises the many intriguing aspects of human behaviour. The eccentric protagonist, coupled with set pieces that range from gravely tragic to lightly comical, make this a captivating watch from start to finish!
Why Watch Hunger
Published in 1890 by the renowned Norwegian author Knut Hamson, Hunger is the author’s reflection on his own poverty in Norway’s capital city of Kristiania (now Oslo). Since its release, the book has been widely regarded as the literary opening of the 20th century and an exemplary fictional work based on psychology. After his breakthrough with Hunger, Hamsun proceeded to publish some of the most celebrated works in Western literature including Pan in 1894 and Victoria in 1898. He was finally honoured with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920 when he published his magnum opus Growth of Soil.
Hunger primarily revolves around two central themes - the human mind and modern urban civilization. Watching the unnamed protagonist struggle to uphold his somewhat quixotic code of honour as he scavenges for scraps of food serves as an examination of the ideas of pride, greed, and basic human necessities. Modern society also interacts in different ways with this strange protagonist, bringing out the sheer insanity of both the world and the main character.
It is not easy to create a stage adaptation like Hunger, and yet Amanda Lomas managed to do just that with characteristic flawlessness. Her other productions include Girl Meets Boy and Your Way of Mine. Fay Lomas, the artistic director of Jump Spark productions and recipient of the coveted inaugural Peter Hall Emerging Artist Fellowship, takes the reins as the director of Hunger.
A man in his late twenties loiters on the streets of Kristiania in Norway in an attempt to find food. On his journey, he meets many interesting people, including a woman named Ylajali, with whom the nameless protagonist has a brief romantic relationship. He gives away his wealth and clothes to all those who seem to be in need, and yet, he accepts nothing that is given to him.
The protagonist finds himself constantly digging his own grave and trapping himself in strange circumstances as a direct consequence of his chivalry and code of honour. With his social and mental standing in perpetual decline, he finally achieves a financial victory when one of his articles gets published in a newspaper. With time, he begins to struggle with his writing as well. Will he withstand the pangs of hunger and his lack of social connections? Will his sanity remain intact in this ordeal? Find out in this exquisite theatrical version of Hamsun Knut’s legendary novel!
Fans of Knut Hamsun | Lovers of Psychological Dramas | Fans of the Original Book
Know Before You Go
Photo and video recording are not allowed during the show.
To be confirmed.
The Arcola Theatre has a seating capacity of 197.
Smart and casual wear is recommended. Keep in mind, the theater is air conditioned throughout the year and can get a bit chilly.
All West End show tickets are non-refundable.
Your booking confirmation will be sent via email. Please display the ticket on your mobile phone with a valid photo ID at the Box Office of the theatre.