Curse of the Starving Class

Curse of the Starving Class

By Sam Shepard
Directed by Mark Thomson
By arrangement with Josef Weinberger Limited

I'm going into crime. It's the only thing that pays these days

On a run-down Californian farmstead, at the edge of the desert and within migrating distance of the Mexican border, an alcoholic husband and a philandering wife are each scheming to sell off their family home without the other's knowledge. Meanwhile their children - idealistic cynic Wesley and rebellious teenager Emma - are struggling to come to terms with the harsh and bizarre reality of the world they've been born into.

Behind Shepard's look at the corrupting power of money and the all-consuming lure of corporation is a wickedly funny portrait of a family in decline, teetering on the edge of poverty, sanity and society itself.

Shepard's work explores similar themes to playwrights such as Arthur Miller and Eugene O'Neill, but through more contemporary eyes, and with a brash, raw energy. The drama is underpinned by a scathing sense of humour, with characters who are living, breathing contradictions of themselves, deranged and uncivilised, hysterical in the face of tragedy, and doomed despite their best efforts to survive in the world.

Please note, this show contains nudity.

Cast and Credits

The cast of Curse of the Starving Class

Weston - Chrisopher Fairbank
Ella - Carla Mendonça
Wesley - Christopher Brandon
Emma - Alice Haig
Taylor - Neil McKinven
Ellis - Stewart Porter
Malcolm/Slater - Mark McDonnell
Emmerson - Jordan Young

The creative team of Curse of the Starving Class

Director - Mark Thomson
Designer - Georgia McGuiness
Lighting Designer - Jeanine Davies
Assistant Director - Xana Maclean
Dialect Coach - Lynn Bains


Watch our trailer for Curse of the Starving Class

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Dates, Times & Prices

This production has now ended

Press Coverage


"...a brave and fiercely energetic piece..."
The Scotsman ★★★★

"...a bleak, slyly funny evening..."
The List ★★★★

"Gut-bustingly funny and heartrendingly bleak..."
Evening News ★★★★

"...unsettlingly funny... ...brutal and gripping..."
Metro ★★★★

"...oddly prescient for these recession-blighted times..."
The Herald ★★★★

"...great cascades of language... [a] first rate cast..."
The Times ★★★★