A new short opera

artwork by Isabella Dalliston

artwork by Isabella Dalliston


hunger, written by Ryan Hay and Joanna Ward, premiered at ENO's Lillian Baylis House in a production by Helios Collective (dir. Freya Wynn-Jones).  It then went on to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018 in a Wanton Theatre production (dir. Emma Hall), to packed houses and critical acclaim - see some reviews below!

If the home can be an art object, how can anyone assert that a woman ought to be a homemaker instead of an artist, if those two can be one and the same? This became our Artist’s project – she strives for aesthetic beauty every day in her performance of this domestic life, and in doing so tries to defy any reductive categorisation as ‘mother’ or ‘wife’ or ‘homemaker’. But the performance can’t continue without an audience. As her agent the Impresario explains, with public interest waning in the piece, it risks ceasing to be art at all, if nobody is there to behold it – paintings can go in a gallery; a life can’t.
— Ryan Hay's programme notes for hunger at Helios Collective's Formations 2017
A very unusual piece [...]
an onslaught on the audience
— Judith Weir, composer & Master of the Queen's Music
it was really funny in places - people need to know that, you should get that in there - it’s not TOO serious all the time
— Vicky Ryan, Joanna's mum
Keep going with your voice. Don’t let anyone reign you in.
— Daniel Kramer, Artistic Director of ENO

We are indebted to the Alan Pars Theatre Trust and the Cambridge University Opera Society for their support in our August 2018 production of hunger at Paradise in the Vault.