The Hunger Games coming to the stage because sure, why not

It’s already been a successful trilogy of books, a successful quartet of films and may yet be a theme park, so it is with a certain weary inevitability that word comes of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games making the transition to the London stage. The production continues the grand book -> film -> stage show tradition of The Phantom of the Opera, but with notably fewer musical numbers (although there’s obviously still time to fix that) and a chandelier being dropped not by a ghoulish denizen of the Parisian underworld but by a child with the express purpose of killing another child for the entertainment of adults, probably.

Given how special effects intensive – not to mention expensive – the film adaptations of Collins’ work have been, the books may seem an unlikely choice for the stage, unless the production has Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch sit on chairs behind one another whilst bouncing up and down to signify that they’re on the train to the Capitol.

The words ‘unlikely choice for the stage’, however, don’t seem to factor into producer Robin de Levita’s creative process, with his recent successes in the Netherlands including a big-budget multimedia play based on The Diary of Anne Frank mounted on a revolving stage, and a musical version of Soldier of Orange (!), itself based on a book that was previously adapted into a film, mounted in a revolving auditorium. No word yet on the staging of The Hunger Games Live! or whatever they end up calling it, other than that it will take residence in a purpose built auditorium near Wembley in 2016, but those with motion sickness are probably best advised to stay at home.

De Levita says of the production: ‘The theater is a fantastic medium to bring the many meaningful layers of Suzanne Collins’ writing to life’, which is a fairly passive aggressive way of saying ‘I don’t think the films are very good.’

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