The Hunger Games is coming to a stage near you. Well, near you if you live in London, England. The first book of Suzanne Collins’ best-selling young adult series is getting a dramatic stage play adaptation, and is currently scheduled to premiere in fall of 2024.
Variety reports the show will be directed by Matthew Dunster and the playwright attached is Conor McPherson, who penned another film-to-stage adaptation, Girl From the North Country. Stage play adaptions are having a moment. While very common in Japan, stage adaptations of books and blockbusters have really begun to pick up interest in the west.
The magical young adult sequel stage play which premiered in 2016 by She Who Must Not Be Named seemed to kick off a flurry of adaptions; Beetlejuice got a musical in 2018, Back to the Future’s musical finally got a premiere in 2020, and Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro had its London premiere in January 2023. Then, Rogers: The Musical got its own 30-minute theme park show, and a prequel stage play for Stranger Things was announced.
So what’s with all these stage play adaptations? Who goes to see them? Is it fans just looking for a new, niche experience? Is it a chance to relive a cult classic or indulge in nostalgia? With Stranger Things going the prequel route, maybe creators get to go weirder on stage than on screen. Either way, if you hope to catch a showing of The Hunger Games live next year, may the (ticket) odds be ever in your favor.
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