Death of a Hunter

by Rolf Hochhuth. Adapted by Peter Thiers. Translated by Peter Sutton.

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 15, 16, 17 April 2018

“When we die, what do we leave behind?”

The UK and English language premiere

★★★★ Four Stars, Broadway World
★★★★ Four Stars, The Upcoming
★★★★ Four Stars, Reviews Gate
★★★★ Four Stars, Close-Up Culture

Unable to write anymore, Ernest Hemingway fights his last and loneliest battle as he tries to find the courage to commit suicide. He confronts his demons, questions old certainties and comes face to face with the ghosts of his past…

Clinically, precisely, harrowingly and in real time, radical German playwright Rolf Hochhuth explores the final hour in the life of an American icon, examining the cult of celebrity, the trappings of fame and “the ultimate futility with which we are all cursed and ‘blessed’”.

Death of a Hunter is the fourth play by Rolf Hochhuth presented at the Finborough Theatre, following Soldiers, The Representative and Summer 14: A Dance of Death. Death of a Hunter opens on Hochhuth’s 87th birthday, and features Edmund Dehn who appeared in the Finborough Theatre’s very first production in 1980.

The previously announced performance in German has been cancelled, due to the indisposition of the actor. The performance will instead be given in English by Edmund Dehn, followed by an informal post-show discussion. The event will last for an hour and will be free to ticket holders of any of our performances. The discussion will be chaired by the Associate Producer of the show, Poppy Clifford, and will be accompanied by readings of the original play text in German. Questions will be taken in German or English so that all audience members will be able to contribute to the conversation, which will also include an exploration of Hochhuth’s relationship with the Finborough Theatre to date.

DEATH OF A HUNTER Post-Show Discussion

Tuesday 10th April – 3.15pm

Panel discussion and Q&A with director Anthony Shrubsall, lead actor Edmund Dehn, translator Peter Sutton and Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre Neil McPherson.


Playwright Rolf Hochhuth was born in West Germany in 1931. Rolf Hochhuth’s provocative first drama, Der Stellvertreter. Ein christliches Trauerspiel (The Deputy, a Christian tragedy), also known as The Representative (1963), which accused the Catholic Church of complicity in the Holocaust, establishing him as a pivotal figure in Germany’s artistic efforts to confront its crimes during the war. It received productions worldwide and caused great controversy, as well as recently being adapted for the film Amen. It was produced at the Finborough Theatre in 2006. His second play, Soldiers (1967), initially banned in England, received its world premiere in Berlin in 1967, and received its first UK revival at the Finborough Theatre in 2004. It has also received acclaimed productions from Toronto to Melbourne. Later works include Guerrillas (1970), The Midwife (1972), The Survivor (1981) and the film A Love in Germany (1984).


Director Anthony Shrubsall is a founder member of the Entire Theatre Company and former academic. Direction includes LANZA (Opera in the City at the Bridewell Theatre), The Gin Chronicles (Arts Space Edinburgh), Orbits (Drayton Arms Theatre), Real Life TV (Barons Court Theatre), Saffron Hill  (Pleasance Theatre London), Zena Edwards' Security 
(BAC) which was the first UK production selected for the Shizuoka Festival, Japan, and Richard Tyrone Jones’ Big Heart, the first spoken word show adapted into a series for BBC Radio 4.  He has published on directing Vsevolod Meyerhold’s acting technique, Harold Pinter’s Mountain Language, Samuel Beckett’s Rockaby and the theatre of Jacques Lecoq.


Adapter Peter Thiers studied Dramaturgy at Die Hochschule für Musik und Theater in both Leipzig and Hamburg. During that time, he worked as a dramaturg, author and director for theatre, film, and radio plays. His poetry film Echo was invited to DOK Leipzig Animation and Documentary Festival in 2014 and in 2016, his adaptation of Death of a Hunter was invited to play at the German Week in Gdansk, Poland. In 2017, his play Warten auf Sturm (Waiting for the Storm to Come) was nominated for the German drama award Osnabrücker Dramatikerpreis. Peter is currently an Assistant Director at Thalia Theatre, Hamburg.


Translator Peter Sutton worked in adult education before being appointed Head of Publications at the Unesco Institute for Education in Hamburg in 1987. In 1994, he returned to the UK and became a freelance translator and editor for cultural institutions, lawyers and international organisations. He also trained as a professional actor and started writing plays. Elgar and Alice was first produced in 2007 and The Prebumptious Mr Punch was premiered in 2013, both at The Swan Theatre in Worcester. His modern verse translation of William Langland’s medieval poem Piers Plowman was published in the US in 2014, and his own poetry has begun to appear in journals. He has given readings from his work at conferences, festivals and other poetry events in the UK and the US and has written textbooks and articles on languages and education, Elgar and Langland. Peter has also been a visiting lecturer at universities in Armenia, Germany, Russia and the UK.


“A detailed and complex portrait of a tortured genius.” Daniel Amir, The Upcoming

“A whirling descent into the soul of one of the greatest American authors.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Riveting and ultimately uplifting.” Anne Dunhill, Independent Catholic News

“A deeply moving examination of the final thoughts and moments of Ernest Hemingway.” Daniel Amir, The Upcoming

“The plays I've seen [at the Finborough Theatre] have never failed to live up to the theatre's reputation for originality and excellence. Last night's production of Death of a Hunter was no exception.” Anne Dunhill, Independent Catholic News

“Clearly a bumper season for the Finborough Theatre, which has managed to follow the accolades earned by White Guy on the Bus with the triumph that is Death of a Hunter.” Daniel Amir, The Upcoming

“Hochhuth’s play is beautifully contrived.” Rod Dungate, ReviewsGate

“Edmund Dehn portrays the novelist exactly as one imagines him at the final stage of his life.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“Majestically played by Edmund Dehn.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Edmund Dehn is transfixing as Hemingway; he plays him with a great weightiness that leaves the audience hanging on every word.” Daniel Amir, The Upcoming

“Powerful fare which Dehn delivers with aplomb.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Masterfully portrayed by Edmund Dehn.” Anne Dunhill, Independent Catholic News

“[Dehn] couldn't be a better fit for the character: from his looks to his walk, he is one with the writer himself.” Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“A tour de force performance.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Edmund Dehn gives a powerful performance.” Rod Dungate, ReviewsGate

“A remarkable piece of acting from Dehn.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Superbly acted by Edmund Dehn.” Ian Louis Harris

“A virtuoso performance.” Jeff Prestridge, Close-Up Culture

“Shocking and…brilliantly staged.” Rod Dungate, ReviewsGate

“Dynamic direction of Anthony Shrubsall.” Anne Dunhill, Independent Catholic News

“Designer Holly Maples has…worked wonders with the set.” Rod Dungate, ReviewsGate


On Soldiers

Time Out and The Times Critics' Choice

"This is concentrated theatre and highly recommended." John Nathan, Jewish Chronicle

"Kenneth Tynan’s original 1968 production of Soldiers about the British blanket bombing of German cities during the Second World War caused such outrage that it is surprising to discover in this first ever UK revival just how reasonable and well balanced the play actually is...a gripping, stimulating evening." Colin Shearman, The Stage

"Dramatic dynamite ...this intelligent and ambitious play." Rachel Halliburton, Time Out

"You have to salute the bravery of Finborough supremo Neil McPherson for giving this difficult play its first London revival since the 1960s " Aleks Sierz, What’s On in London

"Rolf Hochhuth’s “Soldiers” caused an almighty stink back in 1967: disruptive rows at the National Theatre, fierce debates on television, a ban by the Lord Chamberlain leading to a delayed West End production. Seeing it again now makes one almost nostalgic for an era when political theatre could make front–page news. ...This is good theatre precisely because it offers genuine dialectical debate. It also has an obvious relevance to today." Michael Billington, The Guardian

"The deft handling of a clear–cut political issue, dealt with in such a blatantly confrontational manner, is terrifically gripping and makes for great theatre." Tom Ogg, Culture Wars

“Much better written than current political plays" Rhoda Koenig, Evening Standard

On The Representative

One of the top five shows in London – The Independent

★★★★ Time Out

“The play is a work of such immense scope and power that it becomes one of those works which cannot be compared to anything: they demand that other works be compared to them” Bernard Levin, The Daily Mail on the original production

“This is a play [with] greater moral scope and polemical content than a contemporary audience is used to.” Caroline McGinn, Time Out

“A thoughtful and thought–provoking piece of theatre” Alistair Smith, The Stage

“This is a magnificent, mammoth, must–see drama…A terrific piece of theatre.” Timothy Ramsden,

“Both engaging and thought provoking” Mike Williams, Vanguard

"An admirably incisive and complex study in the ethics of politics...A profound examination of the limits of moral responsibility" Robert Hanks, The Independent

“Kate Wasserberg’s production…reveals the power…of Hochhuth’s style of righteous documentary drama. Like Soldiers, The Representative is a powerful polemic” Jonathan Caines, Church Times


“Director Anthony Shrubsall’s stripped-down production has a measured intensity” ★★★★ Four stars The Stage on Orbits

“A great piece of theatre...This is not a show for the faint-hearted, when things happen, they really happen big time.” ★★★★ London Theatre 1 on Real Life TV

“Pin-sharp pastiche of 1940s radio drama” ★★★★ The Scotsman on The Gin Chronicles, A Scottish Adventure

"Remarkable." ★★★★ Musical Theatre Review on LANZA

"Cuts through seemingly polar differences such as race, age, geography and goes to the core of human experience." ★★★★ Afridisiak on Security


“Edmund Dehn's seasoned professionalism and craft as Emperor Franz Joseph and Admiral von Tirpitz were very fine.” Starcourse Blog on Summer 14

“Dehn brings a depth of character to the stage that renders him of constant interest” Everything Theatre on Orbits

"Judge Minty’s excellence revolves around one thing…and that one thing is actor Edmund Dehn.” Paul Matthews Blogspot on The Judge Minty Fan Film

“If a statue can weep or a fresco suffer, then so this Job, Edmund Dehn, movingly does before our very eyes and speaks in a voice of organ warmth and range.” Eastern Daily Press on The Book of Job

“Edmund Dehn’s Red is a vivid compound of cunning and defeat.” The Times on Coyote Ugly

“Edmund Dehn plays Becket with a haunted dignity, his perfectly modulated enunciation gives full flight to Eliot’s written word.” Western Morning News on Murder in the Cathedral


★★★★ Four Stars, The Upcoming
★★★★ Four Stars, ReviewsGate
★★★★ Four Stars, Morning Star Online

“Shocking and compelling…Another jewel in the Finborough’s gem studded crown.” William Russell, ReviewsGate

“Hemingway-lovers will enjoy the details and the chance to speculate on the last hour of a great writer.” Maryam Philpott,The Reviews Hub

“What is most striking about this piece is its petrifying likeness to the backdrop of today’s climate.” Brooke Snowe, The Upcoming

“A great portrayal of mental illness, frightening to watch… Hemingway unravels in front of us and it’s harrowing.” Mobile Theatre

“A powerful play about coming to terms with declining powers and death.” John Green, Morning Star Online

“A very impressive performance from Edmund Dehn.” Mobile Theatre

“A bravura performance by Edmund Dehn, a dead ringer for Hemingway.” John Green, Morning Star Online

“A compelling performance from Edmund Dehn.” Mobile Theatre

“Dehn is riveting.” John Green, Morning Star Online

“Dehn gives a powerful performance.” Partially Obstructed View

“Very vividly played by Edmund Dehn.” Mobile Theatre

“Anthony Shrubsall’s strong direction.” Brooke Snowe, The Upcoming

“Superbly directed by Anthony Shrubsall.” John Green, Morning Star Online

“Holly Maples has created a plush and chic-looking set.” Maryam Philpott,The Reviews Hub

Holly Maples’ set is wonderfully constructed and a real bonus to the piece.” Brooke Snowe, The Upcoming

Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 15, 16, 17 April 2018

Tickets and Times

Monday 7:30pm
Tuesday 2:00pm
Sunday 7:30pm

Approximately one hour with no interval