• Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Drama

‘The Hunger Games’ stage adaptation set to open in London in 2024

Matthew Dunster is directing and playwright Conor McPherson is adapting the live theatrical production.

The Hunger Game Poster

By: Mohnish Singh

The first-ever stage version of The Hunger Games, a drama based on Suzan Collins’ best-selling books and the Jennifer Lawrence-starring blockbuster film franchise, will be performed in London as a mark of respect, reported Variety.

Matthew Dunster is directing and playwright Conor McPherson is adapting the live theatrical production. It will make its debut in London in the fall of 2024.

The performance will be based on the first book in the Collins’ dystopian series, which takes place in a televised battle royale where young tributes are chosen by lottery to fight to the death. As Katniss Everdeen, a character that made Jennifer Lawrence a household name, chooses to compete in the 74th annual Hunger Games in place of her younger sister, the plot takes up.

According to Variety, a press release calls the stage version a “gripping tale of courage, defiance, and the unbreakable human spirit.”

“I’m very excited to be collaborating with the amazing team of Conor McPherson and Matthew Dunster as they bring their dynamic and innovative interpretation of ‘The Hunger Games’ to the London stage,” Collins wrote in a statement.

McPherson, whose other stage shows include The Weir, The Seafarer, and Shining City, called it “humbling and inspiring” to receive Collins’ blessing to adapt “The Hunger Games” for the stage.

“She has created a classic story which continues to resonate now more than ever,” he said. “In a world where the truth itself seems increasingly up for grabs, ‘The Hunger Games’ beautifully expresses values of resilience, self-reliance, and independent moral inquiry for younger people especially. This is turbo-charged storytelling of the highest order and I’m hugely excited to bring it to a new generation of theatergoers and to Suzanne Collins’ longstanding and devoted fans.”

Dunster was equally euphoric about taking on the world of Panem. The theatre veteran, who has directed or written more than 60 shows and received five Tony nominations, says getting hired to work on this show “might be the most exciting work call I’ve ever had,” reported Variety.

“As soon as the producers said the title, I just said ‘Stop! I’m in,'” Dunster says. “I loved the Lionsgate film and the brutal and emotional power of this dystopian classic. My children had their heads in the books at the time (it’s definitely the ONLY work call of mine they’ve been excited about) so I stole them and I came to appreciate the beauty of Suzanne Collins’ storytelling. This is theatre. It’s ‘The Hunger Games’ in the theatre. And with the world-class team we have put together we aim to do something that is fully immersed in the novel and the film but is uniquely, thrillingly theatrical.”

The Hunger Games is produced by Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Oliver Royds for BOS Productions, and Isobel David, by arrangement with Lionsgate.

The original Hunger Games novel was published in 2008, with two sequels and four feature films to follow.

Those movies collectively generated $3 billion at the global box office. Lionsgate has developed a prequel The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, starring Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler, which debuts in theaters on November 17, reported Variety.

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