Hungry – Soho Theatre, London

Reviewer: Christine Stanton

Writer: Chris Bush

Director: Katie Posner

Food is the great uniter, bringing people together in a wide range of situations. Whether it’s a first date, a big celebration or just a necessity after a long day, food is often a centre point. For chef Lori and waitress Bex, food is how they met, how they show each other they care and yet ultimately is also the biggest divider between them.

Hungry takes the audience on a non-linear journey through Lori (Eleanor Sutton) and Bex’s (Melissa Lowe) relationship, dishing up a healthy serving of drama along the way. Lori is used to the finer things in life – oyster bars, fine wine and fancy restaurants, while Bex is happy with a Pot Noodle or a Nandos. Although from different worlds, their chemistry seems to work, until the unthinkable happens and Bex loses her mother. Her grief strips back the platitudes of their coupling, forcing her to unravel whether what they had together was ever truly real.

While there are a lot of tastily tense interactions and deliciously dramatic retorts, there are a few points where the narrative just isn’t that satisfying. A large portion of Chris Bush’s script is quite repetitive – so the initial scenes of emotive shouting about their class divide or the heart-warming moments of romance between them wear thin after seeing variations of the same scene over and over again, losing the momentum they had built previously. However, there are some strong social issues at the heart of the story – with cultural appropriation and gentrification being two of the strongest themes explored. These are approached well, and executed cleverly.

The acting talents of both Sutton and Lowe are served to the audience with perfection: both endearingly believable within their roles and strong at delivering their lengthy, fast-paced monologues. They keep the rhythm of the narrative buzzing along, using their speeches to keep the plot flowing, away from the minimal props and set design. Their personalities are established quickly and with a bit more variance within their lines the well-developed characters would have more of a chance to shine.

Runs until 30 July 2022

The Reviews Hub Score

Deliciously Dramatic

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The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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