Arcola Theatre and Jump Spark today announce the full cast for Amanda Lomas' bold new imagining of Hunger, adapted from the ground-breaking psychological novel by Knut Hamsun. Fay Lomas directs Archie Backhouse (Hans), Katie Eldred (Ylayali), Kwami Odoom (The Young Man) and Jessica Tomlinson (Landlady). The production opens on 25 November, with previews from 20 November, and runs until 21 December.

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

Hunger is the penultimate production in Arcola's Autumn season, which celebrates original plays and adaptations by female writers.

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Amanda Lomas’ previous theatre credits include Your Way or Mine, Girl Meets Boy (Theatre503) and In Defence of Laughter (Leatherhead Theatre). She graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A in Modern Languages and an M.Phil in Linguistics.

Knut Hamsun (1859-1952) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1920. His novels include Fra det moderne Amerikas Aandsliv (The Intellectual Life of Modern America), Pan, Markens Grøde (Growth of the Soil), Livets Spil (Game of Life), Aftenrøde (Sunset), Under Høststjernen (Under the Autumn Star), Benoni, En Vandrer Spiller med Sordin (A Wanderer Plays on Muted Springs), Børn av Tiden (Children of the Age), Segelfoss By (Segelfoss Town), Landstrykere (Vagabonds), August, Men Livet lever (The Road Leads On) and Ringen sluttet (The Ring is Closed). His 1890 novel Sult (Hunger) is regarded as the first genuinely modern novel in Norwegian Literature.

Archie Backhouse plays Hans. His theatre credits include The Listening Room (UK tour), There Is A Field (Theatre503), and The Gap in the Light (New Diorama Theatre). Credits for television includes Save Me.

Katie Eldred plays Ylayali. Her theatre credits include The Rubenstein’s Kiss (Southwark Playhouse).

Kwami Odoom plays The Young Man. His theatre credits include The Half God of Rainfall (Kiln Theatre/Birmingham Repertory Theatre), BOYS (The Vaults), A Christmas Carol (RSC), Queen Margaret (Royal Exchange Theatre), and Barber Shop Chronicles (National Theatre). His credits for television include The Athena.

Jessica Tomlinson plays Landlady. Her theatre credits include Chummy (White Bear Theatre), Blood Wedding, Eighth Continent (Tristan Bates Theatre), Best of Both (Pleasance Theatre), Threeway (Theatre503), and A Great British Company (The Vaults).

Fay Lomas is Rose Theatre Kingston’s inaugural Peter Hall Emerging Artists Fellow. Her directing credits include the forthcoming Out of the Dark (Rose Theatre Kingston), The Crucible (Royal & Derngate Northampton Community Company), The Winter’s Tale (St Peter’s Church, Northampton), Bérénice (The Space) and Blood Wedding (The Bread and Roses). In addition, she has directed new, short plays at Arcola Theatre, Theatre503 and Southwark Playhouse. As an assistant director her credits include The Model Apartment (Ustinov Studio), Macbeth (National Theatre/UK tour), Trouble in Mind (Print Room), Death of a Salesman (Royal & Derngate Northampton/UK tour), Great Expectations (Royal & Derngate Northampton), Annie Get Your Gun (Sheffield Theatres) and Half Life (Theatre Royal Bath).

HUNGER Listings
Arcola Theatre
24 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL

20 November – 21 December 2019
Press night: Monday 25 November, 7pm

Box Office: 020 7503 1646

Arcola Theatre produces daring, high-quality theatre in the heart of East London and beyond. We commission and premiere exciting, original works alongside rare gems of world drama and bold new productions of classics. Our socially-engaged, international programme champions diversity, challenges the status quo, and attracts over 65,000 people to our building each year. Ticket prices are some of the most affordable in London, and our long-running Pay What You Can scheme ensures there is no financial barrier to accessing the theatre. Every year, we offer 26 weeks of free rehearsal space to BAME and refugee artists; our Grimeborn Festival opens up opera with contemporary stagings at affordable prices; and our Participation department creates over 13,500 creative opportunities for the people of Hackney and beyond. Our pioneering environmental initiatives are award-winning, and aim to make Arcola the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre.

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Jump Spark is a theatre company dedicated to creating new adaptations of international classics; to finding the urgent stories of the past and of other nations and bring them to the UK in a way that sheds light on our own time.