Monday 24 October 2016

Hunger – SNG, Maribor

[seen 15/10/16]

[not so much a review as a sulk]

I did not like this adaptation of Knut Hamsun’s novel one bit. I didn’t like the set, I found the text [surtitles] stiflingly dull, and I found the lead actor’s chosen performance style – MOSTLY SHOUTING – pretty much unwatchable; every directorial decision was both literal minded and boring. I stayed until the interval (1hr30). Colleagues tell me things did not improve in the final hour.

I read the Wikipedia summary of the novel afterwards (sorry, not read the novel), and concluded that they’d neither given a fair account of more than half the book, nor had they replaced it with or adapted it into something better, or indeed *anything good at all*.

What happens on the stage, if you really need me to justify calling this a theatre review, is that the first-person-narrator shouts his stream-of-consciousness narration at you, from a particularly cramped, scaffolding set, while various characters in appropriate Norwegian period costume periodically come on and interact with him, as he tells us they are doing.

If nothing else, it is a masterclass in how not to do literary adaptations (i.e. to no one’s great surprise, it is *really similar* to lots we have in England).

So, yeah. That. Thanks, but no thanks.

Mini teater Ljubljana and Ptuj City Theatre
Première: 14. 6. 2015, Mini teater Ljubljana
4. 9. 2015, Ptuj City Theatre
Running time 2 hours 45 minutes. One interval.

Author of adaptation, dramaturg and director Janez Pipan
Composer Mitja Vrhovnik Smrekar
Set designer Sanja Jurca Avci
Costume designer Ana Savić Gecan
Lighting designer Andrej Hajdinjak

Marko Mandić
Ylajali – Nina Rakovec
Captain on a Russian ship/Blind Old Man/Merchant Christie/Editor/Police Officer on Duty – Brane Grubar
Pawnbroker/Constable/“Virgin”/Man with Newspapers – Tadej Pišek
Sausage Vendor/Flower Girl/ Bread Vendor/Waitress/Housekeeper – Nina Valič
Ylajali’s Partner/Store Clerk/Newspaper Street Vendor/Girl in Park/Prostitute/Housekeeper’s Servant – Maruša Majer

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