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Theater play

The Legend of the Holy Drinker

HUNCHtheatre brings you an unusual tale of homelessness, addiction, immigration and miracles in the big city, inspired by Joseph Roth’s neglect 1939 masterpiece ‘The Legend of the Holy Drinker’.

It was premiered at the Vault festival in London in January 2020 using an international cast of artists from across Europe, some of them political refugees. The show tells the story of Andreas, a homeless, alcoholic illegal immigrant. One day he is given a large sum of cash by a benevolent stranger. This begins a chain of near magical events as he enjoys the highs and lows of London life, bumps into friends he thought had disappeared from his life, and confronts his past.

Joseph Roth is now recognised as a major twentieth century writer. He was a prolific journalist and novelist, moving around Europe as a refugee in the 1920s and 30s. His masterpieces ‘The Radetsky March’ and ‘Job’ are now widely translated and well known. ‘The Legend of the Holy Drinker’ is the last thing he ever wrote, as he was dying from alcohol poisoning in Paris in 1939. It is highly autobiographical, hopefully, playful but brutal.

Photo by Greg Veit Photography

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