This production of Hunger is a bold new adaptation of the psychological novel.

A young man moves to the big city with dreams of becoming a writer. But in this unforgiving metropolis, friends are scarce and jobs are even scarcer. Once hunger rocks the core of his reality, how can his youthful spirit – and his sanity – survive?

In this fast-paced new adaptation, Amanda Lomas explodes Knut Hamsun’s tale about a mind on the margins and, more than a century since the original novel captured the brutality of urban isolation, asks how much has changed.

Directed by Fay Lomas, winner of the Peter Hall Emerging Artist Fellowship Award at the Rose Theatre, Hunger bursts onto the stage in a timely, world premiere production.

The Arcola have also released a statement about Knut Hamsun, the author of the original novel, Hunger:

“Hunger is a story about a young man on the poverty line, struggling to make his way in an unfeeling city. It was first published as a novel in 1890, and had a notable influence on psychological literature.

“The author of the novel, Knut Hamsun, held racist views and was sympathetic to fascist regimes. He made a gift of his Nobel Prize to the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and wrote a eulogy for Adolf Hitler.

“Arcola Theatre, Jump Spark Theatre and the team behind this production condemn unequivocally the political views and actions of Knut Hamsun.

“This new, stage adaptation of Hunger was inspired by the story’s consideration of the vulnerable, and the physical, psychological and emotional tolls taken on a young person trying to make their way in the world. The production seeks, on its own terms and in a different form and time, to explore that hardship with compassion and humanity.

“We acknowledge that the relationship between artworks and their original creators is a complex and contentious subject. We invite everyone to engage with this adaptation of Hunger in full knowledge of the views and actions of the source material’s author, Knut Hamsun.”

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