The Ham Funeral

The Ham FuneralThe Ham Funeral is a delightfully vulgar investigation of the human condition – part vaudeville, part lyric poem, part gothic drama.

In a dingy inner-city boarding house, a naïve young poet is inexorably drawn into the strange world of the basement-dwelling landlord and his wife, the splendidly grotesque Mr and Mrs Lusty.

When Will Lusty dies, his widow Alma prepares a splendid funeral and wake in his honour. As the relatives gather like scavengers, the young man finds himself lured into a desperate and dangerous sexual game, with comically tragic consequences.

Written in 1948 by Australia’s Nobel Laureate for Literature, Patrick White, The Ham Funeral is loosely based on the true story that informed William Dobell’s painting The Dead Landlord and on White’s own recollections of the seedy world of London boarding-houses.

The play remained unproduced until 1961, when the Adelaide Festival premiere caused outrage. Fifty years on, The Ham Funeral now enjoys legendary status as one of the most intriguingly original plays in Australian theatre history.

New Theatre has a proud history of producing Patrick White’s plays (The Season at Sarsaparilla, A Cheery Soul) and we are thrilled that recent NIDA Directors Course graduate Phillip Rouse is joining us to bring The Ham Funeral to life in this bold and imaginative new production.

The Ham Funeral
New Theatre – 542 King St, Newton NSW
Season continues to 25 May 2013
Bookings: 1300 347 205 or online at:

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Bob Seary

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