Hungry

Written by Sarah Daniels / Produced by Theatre of Debate

Description

Ruby starts work as a cleaner to support her daughter and grandson, for Susannah a lawyer. One day while cleaning Susannah’s house she discover’s Susannah’s son hiding at home when he should be at school. Acclaimed playwright Sarah Daniel’s comedy drama provides a starting point for debating issues around our relationship to food.’

Developed in partnership with The Wellcome Trust, and The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). ‘Hungry’ is supported by the Wellcome Trust.

The live production and debate of Hungry toured to schools throughout the UK and has been seen by over 9,254 students and teachers.

When surveyed after Hungry 93% of teachers said they would like to participate in future Theatre of Debate productions and would recommend Theatre of Debate to other schools with 88% rating the play good or excellent. 91% of teachers rated the quality of the play as 8/10 or more.

The majority of students responded similarly to teachers in agreeing or strongly agreeing that the story of the play was interesting, the characters believable and the acting good.

Details

Focus: Our relationship with food, health, food and wellbeing, food banks, Obesity, Diabetes, the sugar debate, Class, understanding what makes a healthy diet, discovering ways of changing our behaviour, finding ways of containing the growing obesity epidemic, stopping food waste, protecting biodiversity.

Who is Hungry suitable for: Teachers can use the project across subjects and curricula, specifically in Science, PSHE, Citizenship, English, Drama and SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development). Appropriate for both 14 – 16 and 16+ age groups. Also suitable for Science Communicators, medical students, nurses, health worker and families.

Length: 60 minutes

Full Film: Available through Theatre of Debate, with subtitles by Stagetext

Resources: Available for teachers and students, science communicators and health workers

Synopsis

Hungry is a contemporary drama with humour about two very different women and two very different families, whose lives become inextricably intertwined when Suzanne an ambitious young lawyer employs Ruby, a grandmother as her cleaner.

Suzanne, is in the process of making a fortune representing a global fizzy drinks company, added to which Tobias, her husband is away in India working on a genetically modified rice project. As a result, she finds herself almost too busy to look after her spoilt overweight teenage son Xavier, much as she loves him. Ruby on the other hand has had low-paid, unskilled manual jobs all her life added to which her husband died early of a heart attack, but what she might lack in intellectual ability she makes up for in humour and emotional intelligence. Ruby is grateful for the job, as she is desperate to find ways of supporting her daughter and grandson Ashleigh.

As a result of a mental health condition her daughter is unemployed and about to lose her benefits. Money is so tight; Ruby’s daughter has had to resort to using a food bank in order to try and feed Ashley and herself. With some money coming in and the leftover food that she smuggles home form Suzanne’s lavish dinner parties, Ruby finds she can take the pressure off her family.

Everything changes when one morning Ruby discovers Xavier hiding in a kitchen cupboard. He’s playing truant from school to avoid games. (He’s teased and bullied because he is so overweight.) At first Ruby says that he has to go back to school and when he refuses, she says she’ll have to tell his mother. Xavier turns on Ruby threatening to blackmail her – while, hiding in the kitchen cupboard, he’s secretly filmed her ‘stealing ‘ the leftover food. If Ruby tells Suzanne that he has been playing truant, he will tell Suzanne that Ruby is a thief…

Hungry provides a starting point for debating issues around our relationship to food.

Characters

Ashley loves Ruby and is only slightly concerned that she might ‘show him up’. He knows her outspokenness is mainly for affect but even so he doesn’t want to risk it. Throughout the play he becomes increasingly ground down by his family’s situation, and their lack of money and more and more aware of what others think of ‘benefit scroungers’ and increasingly his anger mounts. The only way he can see of getting out of the situation they’re in is to abandon his hopes of going to university and getting a job.

Ruby has worked hard for her family all her life, she has worked just as hard at trying to make the best of things, and not let others down by giving in to feeling miserable. She has a big heart and likes to make people laugh. Sometimes because she’s so outspoken this can backfire. She really wants Ashley to have a better life and would probably do anything for him.

Xavier – is defensive and unhappy about his weight but covers it with arrogant bluster. He lives in another world to Ruby and has no idea how different their lives are until he visits her in her daughter in law’s flat. He goes to a fee-paying school but has gone to great lengths to bunk off games because he can’t bear the teasing and snide jibes of his classmates. He is lonely. He loves his mum but is slightly wary of his dad who, because he’s worried about Xavier likes to bring the weight issue up every time they speak via skype.

Susannah – is middle class, effortlessly elegant and well-groomed despite having to do her hair and make-up maybe in the car or halfway down the stairs. She means well and she has a social conscience but sometimes can’t see what’s under her nose. She loves Xavier and is concerned that she doesn’t spend enough time with him but her work as a barrister puts increasing demands on her time. Partly in denial about Xavier’s weight but she also genuinely believes that people come in all shapes and sizes and it could be puppy fat that he’ll grow out of.

Developed in partnership with

The Wellcome Trust

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC)

Created in collaboration with

Dr Susan Jebb, Professor of Diet and Population Health, Oxford, UK

Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, Chief Executive Officer and Head of Mission, Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (Franpan)

Professor Alan Dangour, MSc PhD RNutr, Professor of Food and Nutrition for Global Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Professor Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy, City University of London

Professor Angela McFarlane, Director of Public Engagement and Learning, Kew gardens

Kath Dalmeny, Policy Director, Sustain

Rob Moore Director, Behaviour Change

Susan Elkin, Education Editor of The Stage, Journalist and former teacher

Dr Sophie Petit Zeman – Scientific Consultant and Acting Director of Patient Involvement in Research, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre

Home Licence
2 weeks for free then £30 / Year
Single user
subscription for
home use
Full access to all projects
New projects available at no additional cost
Watch all full length plays
Read the scripts
Actor and playwright interviews
Detailed facilitator notes
KS3/KS4 curriculum links
Lesson plans
Debate packages
Extension activities
School Licence
2 weeks for free then £425 / Year
Less than 300 users
subscription for
school use
Full access to all projects
New projects available at no additional cost
Watch all full length plays
Read the scripts
Actor and playwright interviews
Detailed facilitator notes
KS3/KS4 curriculum links
Lesson plans
Debate packages
Extension activities
School Licence
2 weeks for free then £600 / Year
300 to 499 users
subscription for
school use
Full access to all projects
New projects available at no additional cost
Watch all full length plays
Read the scripts
Actor and playwright interviews
Detailed facilitator notes
KS3/KS4 curriculum links
Lesson plans
Debate packages
Extension activities
School Licence
2 weeks for free then £800 / Year
500 to 699 users
subscription for
school use
Full access to all projects
New projects available at no additional cost
Watch all full length plays
Read the scripts
Actor and playwright interviews
Detailed facilitator notes
KS3/KS4 curriculum links
Lesson plans
Debate packages
Extension activities
School Licence
2 weeks for free then £950 / Year
700 to 899 users
subscription for
school use
Full access to all projects
New projects available at no additional cost
Watch all full length plays
Read the scripts
Actor and playwright interviews
Detailed facilitator notes
KS3/KS4 curriculum links
Lesson plans
Debate packages
Extension activities