Centralny TheatreKnut Hamsun’s Hunger
The protagonist of this performance is the still controversial figure of Knut Hamsun, a Norwegian writer, a respected Noble laureate, who expressed his support for the Nazis during World War II. Despite his attempts to explain himself, he was accused of collaborating with the regime, arrested and placed in a psychiatric clinic in Vindern. His books were burnt, his fortune confiscated and he was publicly ostracized. His native Norway is still divided over how to judge him. For some he is still the greatest Norwegian writer, others see him as a traitor and collaborator, whom they should be ashamed of. In the performance we see Hamsun in the psychiatric hospital as an old, worn-out man. People who interrogate him want to establish the scale of his guilt and get to know whether he is aware of the influence his conduct had on the society. Charged with treason and collaboration, the writer gets a chance to defend himself. However, because of the medical treatment he has been under, he starts seeing the characters he created in his books half a century before. The products of his imagination start to mix not only with his memories and yearnings but also with the accusations, with what has been said during the interrogations or in the Noble acceptance speech and his compromising posthumous tribute to Hitler. Fragments from “On Overgrown Paths”, “Hunger” and motifs from “Mammoth” by Tankred Dorst were used in the performance.
Teatr Centralny was established in 2008 in Lublin on the initiative of the Centre for Culture, to present the works of artists who collaborate with it at regular basis. On its stage the results of the work of Provisorium Theatre and Kompania Theatre, Lublin Dance Theatre, Maat Projekt Theatre, InVitro Pre-premiere Stage and neTTheatre are presented.