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Arnold Wesker

ARNOLD WESKER

  (1932 - 2016)

Nationality:    British
email:    Click here to contact     Website:    Click here

Literary Agent:    The Agency (London) Ltd  

Arnold Wesker, considered one of the key figures in 20th Century Drama, is the author of 42 plays, 4 volumes of short stories, 2 volumes of essays, a book on journalism, a children's book, extensive journalism, poetry and other assorted writings. His plays have been translated into 17 languages, and performed worldwide. 2002 celebrated his 70th birthday and his 45th year as a playwright. 2006 celebrates his knighthood. photo credit : Dan Wesker.

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below is a list of Arnold Wesker's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        And After Today         Annie Wobbler         Badenheim 1939         Barabbas         Beorhtel's Hill         Blood Libel         Bluey         Break, My Heart         Breakfast         Caritas         Chicken Soup With Barley         Chips With Everything         Cinders         Circles Of Perception         Confession, The         Denial         Fatlips         Four Portraits - Of Mothers         Four Seasons, The         Friends, The         Grief         Groupie         I'm Talking About Jerusalem         Journalists, The         Joy and Tyranny         Kitchen Musical, The         Kitchen, The         Lady Othello         Letter To A Daughter         Letter To Myself         Life Is A Market         Little Old Lady         Longitude         Love Letters On Blue Paper         Men Die Women Survive         Menace         Merchant, The         Mistress, The         Mothers: Four Portraits         New Play, The         Nottingham Captain, The: A Moral for Narrator and Orchestra         Old Ones, The         One More Ride on the Merry-Go-Round         Phoenix Phoenix, Burning Bright         Roots         Shoeshine         Shylock         Sullied Hand         their Very Own and Golden City         Three Woman Talking         Voices On the Wind         Wedding Feast, The         Whatever Happened to Betty Lemon         When God Wanted a Son         Wild Spring         Yardsale



And After Today

Synopsis:
play written for amateur Drama group "the Query Players" to which A.W belonged. Never performed. Precursor to Chicken Soup with Barley.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Never Performed    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Annie Wobbler

Synopsis:
ANNIE, an old tramp-cum-char-lady who 'does' for a poor Jewish family in London's East End, reminisces her sad old life and describes the family she works for - Wesker's parents. Annie Wobbler is the real name of a childhood memory. When she has finished, ANNIE whips off her eccentric clothes beneath which is a red-head in black underwear who is ANNA, a working-class student who has just achieved her degree in French, and is making up to go on a date with her boyfriend. This date is going to be very different from previous dates - she's now a B.A. first-class honours, and has gained a devastating confidence. Made up she looks stunning; but her red hair is a wig, and the dress she puts on is really two dresses. When the scene ends she removes wig, unhitches one of the dresses, and is now- ANNABELLA, a novelist whose third novel is a great success. She has been interviewed endlessly, and is about to face three more, She rehearses deceit. To the first she'll offer the image of a modest writer; to the second, an arrogant writer; to the third, tired of play-acting, she offers the truthful image: a terrified writer who fears she's mediocre.Each woman feels flawed, each woman tries to survive the flaws.

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Notes:
First in A cycle of six 'One Woman Plays'. Aka Annie, Anna, Annabella, broadcast 1983. Specially written for Nichola MacAuliffe. Three monologues of female characters Aged 60, 24 & 45

1st Produced:
Studio Theatre, Birmingham Rep, Birmingham     1983

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 5, Penguin, London, 1989   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
One Act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Badenheim 1939

Synopsis:
It's a chilling novel. Badenheim is a spa to which middle-class, bohemian Jews have been coming year after year. At its centre is an Arts festival. In 1939 strange happenings occur. Sanitary inspectors gradually take over the spa and inform it's Jewish residents that soon they'll be going to Poland. Barbed wire springs up around the small town, guard dogs proliferate, other Jews appear, herded into the area, and the facilities begin to break down or cease to function. Over the summer the spa falls to pieces. On the last day all the Jews are marched to the station for transport to Poland. Some are quite looking forward to the journey. they imagine it will be a train that takes them to their destination. When cattle trucks draw up, the festival organiser, ever optimistic, observes:'

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Notes:
An Adaptation of the novel by Aharon Appelfeld. It contains so many characters it can only be performed by A National theatre or University theatre Department with large resources.

1st Produced:
Student Production At The Miskin Theatre, University Of North Kent     2000

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 7, Penguin, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  27            Female:  12            Other:  6 man band. Chamber trio. As many extras as possible. Scope for much doubling.

Further Reference:
-

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Barabbas

Synopsis:
What became of the minor characters in the Gospels whose lives brushed with Jesus? Part of a TV series for Easter 2000 set in a Victorian house around the late 1 800s. In each room is a Gospel character. BARABBAS, some thought a thief some a rebel, is now in his 70s reflecting on what went wrong.

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Notes:
suitable for the stage

1st Produced:
Bbctv Easter Slot     2000

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
15 min monologue One Act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Beorhtel's Hill

Synopsis:
A play commissioned to celebrate the 40th birthday of the new town of Basildon. Because it is a community play engaging 125 members of the community, it is impossible to be performed by anyone else. But it's an interesting read, recording a fascinating history of London's East Enders who were the first Basildon dwellers. Out of their story is explored the theme of 'the stranger in our midst'.

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Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Basildon, Essex     1989

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 7, Penguin, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Community Play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  125 actors

Further Reference:
-

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Blood Libel

Synopsis:
In 1144 a young boy, WILLIAM, was found brutally murdered in Thorpe Wood, Norwich. the Jews were accused of slaughtering a Christian child to use his blood for Passover and mock the crucifixion. This is the genesis of the first ever 'blood libel' accusation - a calumny which has spread throughout Europe and persists to this day. the Prior of the Norwich Priory, ELIAS, did not believe the accusation. the charge was dropped. Twenty years later the monk, THOMAS OF MONMOUTH, joined the priory and, together with the zealous priory monks, campaigned to have WILLIAM named a martyr. they succeeded. Pilgrims came in search of miracles. the church grew rich. WILLIAM's death would today be known for what it almost certainly was in the 12th century - a crime of sexual assault. Blood Libel repeatedly enacts this while playing out the myth of martyrdom - a contrapuntal of furious irony.

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Notes:
commissioned to open the Norwich Playhouse

1st Produced:
Norwich Playhouse     1996

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 7, Penguin, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  3            Other:  11 actors play 34 characters

Further Reference:
-

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Bluey

Synopsis:
HILARY HAWKINS is a judge who has reached a crisis of confidence. A suppressed incident from the past has been working corrosively within his sub-conscious. A particularly nasty court case stirs memory of an incident during his student days when he worked on a building site, and reluctantly became involved with other builders in stealing lead from a roof which they were repairing. Failing to shout a warning before throwing down the lead HILARY badly scars a plumber's face. At the height of his crisis he goes in quest of the plumber. When he finds him he can only stand and observe him from a distance imagining three possible outcomes of a confrontation he has not the courage to face, as years ago he had not the courage face a dying old sweetheart.

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Notes:
Bluey is slang word for lead. This was originally A radio play, 'the European Radio Commission' written in 1984.

1st Produced:
Colgnr Radio     1985

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays of Arnold Wesker 6" Penguin, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Radio Play

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Break, My Heart

Synopsis:
A working-class couple - a carpenter and his wife. MAEVE has outgrown her husband. She has discovered Shakespeare and poetry, which she learns by heart and recites to herself. MICHAEL is intimidated by her new persona. His impoverished swearing sharply contrasts with Shakespeare's language. MAEVE wants to find a job, get out of the house. MICHAEL's pride forbids her. "I don't want people to think I can't support my family." Each time she uses what he considers a long word he beats her. After each act of violence he is filled with remorse and she has to comfort him. the cycle of beating and remorse seems never-ending.

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Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
30 minute Drama One Act

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Breakfast

Synopsis:
MARK BELL, an unconventional Jewish businessman, finds himself reading Primo Levi while on a business trip in Munich. Everyone he meets is kind. the Levi text, full of Nazi brutality, contrasts with modern Germany. the experience is confusing, tense and, finally, profoundly distressing.

View Excerpt

Notes:
30 minute play for TV, never made. Could be staged

1st Produced:
Unproduced     1991

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
30 min play One Act

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  2            Other:  and an assortment of minor and non-speaking parts

Further Reference:
-

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Caritas

Synopsis:
In the 14th century a young woman, CHRISTINE CARPENTER asked the church to allow her to live the rest of her life in a cell attached to the church in the Sussex village of Shere. Through living the austere life of an anchoress CHRISTINE hoped to become pure enough to receive divine revelation. Three years on she realises that an anchoress's life is not her vocation - the word of God does not come to her. She asks the church to release her from her vows. they cannot. To do so, they argue, would be to make a cuckold of Christ. Victim of religious fervour she is doomed to live out her life imprisoned in her cell where she goes mad. A metaphor for wrong decisions - political, social, private, religious - which we make and which imprison us for life.

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Notes:
also An opera for which Wesker wrote the libretto, music by Robert Saxton; it opened the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in 1991

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Cape, London, 1981   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  3            Other:  doubling

Further Reference:
-

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Chicken Soup With Barley

Chicken Soup With Barley
the play spans twenty years - 1936 to 1956- in the life of the communist Kahn family: SARAH and HARRY, and their children, ADA and RONNIE. Beginning with the anti-fascist demonstrations in 1936 in London's East End and ending with the Hungarian uprising in 1956, the play explores the disintegration of political ideology parallel with the disintegration of a family. It is the son, RONNIE, who is the most deeply affected and turns on his mother who insists on remaining a communist. Her reply ends the play on a note of desperate optimism.

View Excerpt

Notes:
part of the Wesker Trilogy. Also A film script - more A rethinking of the material than An Adaptation of three plays.

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "New English Dramatists I", Penguin, London, 1959
Methuen Drama, London   978-1408156605

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Wearing - the London Stage 58.167

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Chips With Everything

Chips With Everything
Early 1950s. A group of Air Force conscripts begin eight weeks of 'square-bashing' - basic military drill. Two of the conscripts develop a friendship, PIP THOMPSON - a young aristocrat, CHAS WINGATE - a working class boy. the military hierarchy want PIP to become an officer. He rebelliously refuses. the officers patiently tolerate his rebellion thus defusing it and breaking his spirit. When SMILER, one of the recruits, is badly treated by NCOs, the recruits rebel. PIP, who has just accepted to become an officer, urges the hierarchy to tolerate their rebelliousness as they had tolerated his and thus, similarly, defuse their anger. the young recruits who began as a shambles end as an efficient, closely linked and acquiescent squad.

View Excerpt

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Cape, London, 1962   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  20            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Cinders

Synopsis:
Based on the biography of CYNTHIA PAYNE by Paul Bailey. PAYNE ran 'a house of sex' in Streatham. It was characterised by its absence of seediness. She wanted to provide a happy service. It was a 'fun' house to which people came and relaxed and went off with a girl every so often. CYNTHIA PAYNE was busted but made such a good impression in court that she subsequently became a minor celebrity. Wesker's adaptation, for reasons completely incomprehensible to him, roused the wrath of Paul Bailey who vetoed the play ever being performed. Nor has it been published.

View Excerpt

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Unperformed     1983

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  10            Female:  5            Other:  59 characters

Further Reference:
-

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Circles Of Perception

Synopsis:
While trying to write the Old Ones the author developed writer's block. Accompanying this block was a profound urge not to write plays the old way. He was ". . . tired of the conventional stage with actors coming on and off, sets changing, slightly different characters with slightly different names . . . I decided to call everyone by their real name . . . the play is about people and events I imagined were causing the block.., technically ambitious I used everything - slides, films, the Czech device of 'Laterna Magica' . . ."

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Notes:
Originally entitled 'the New Play', written in 1969, totally restructured in 1996. Very personal, very experimental And not intended for performance but is Available for reading.

1st Produced:
Not Intended For Production     1969

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Experimental play in two acts

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  22 Characters

Further Reference:
-

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Confession, The

Synopsis:
A woman persuades her lover to trust her and confide in her his most heinous act. As soon as he does she is so appalled that she taunts him with it. Disappointed, his love fades. For revenge she betrays his trust.

View Excerpt

Notes:
Play reading As part of the London 'New Play Festival' dir. Katie Valentine, performed by Victoria Davar At the Lyric Hammersmith Studio 12 April. 1997.

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Ten Min

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Denial

Synopsis:
About the 'false memory syndrome'. Based on a case history of a daughter who turns on her parents accusing them of sexually abusing her as a child.

View Excerpt

Notes:
written 1997

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
published in French in French Theatre magazine called L'Avant Scene. March, 2004   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Fatlips

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
mentioned in Directory of Playwrights, ed Catherine Itzin, 1983, As unpublished And unperformed. Later revised As 'Voices On the Wind.

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Four Portraits - Of Mothers

Synopsis:
RUTH - woman as unmarried mother
NAOMI - woman as mother who never was
MIRIAM- woman as failed mother
DEBORAH- woman as mother earth
In France and elsewhere they have been performed with Yardsale using
STEPHANIE - woman as abandoned mother.

View Excerpt

Notes:
Fifth in A cycle of six 'One Woman Plays'. See Also Mother: Four Portraits

1st Produced:
Edinburgh     1984

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 5, Penguin, London, 1989   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Four ten to fifteen minute vignettes

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Four Seasons, The

Synopsis:
ADAM and BEATRICE have been bruised by their separate marriages and love affairs, and have agreed to spend time together in a remote cottage - a kind of sabbatical from life. In winter she is catatonic, he must attend to things. By the spring his caring has thawed her frozen feelings. When summer comes they are in love, and BEATRICE begs ADAM to come away and begin a new life together in the real world. He hesitates, afraid. they linger till Autumn. Mistakes, which destroyed previous relationships, are repeated. Love dies.

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Notes:
First handwritten draft begun 21 May. Changes made in Havana in October where it was first performed directed by the Author

1st Produced:
Havana     1964

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Cape, London, 1966   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Friends, The

Synopsis:
A brilliant group of friends from working-class backgrounds have become very successful interior designers, and opened many shops selling their designs. they find their success hollow because their designs were not bought by the working-class people whom they hoped would respond to 'things of beauty'. Now they are gathered round one of their number, EStheR, who is dying of leukaemia, Death makes them reassess both who they are and what they imagined they had achieved.It also forces them to confront their own mortality.

View Excerpt

Notes:
Round House, London, 1970.

1st Produced:
Stockholm     1970

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Cape, London, 1970   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Grief

Synopsis:
About a Japanese widow of an executed officer who was part of an officer's rebellion in the 1930s. She reflects on their short life together, and goes through an inner struggle against the notion of committing suicide to honour her husband's integrity, but finally does.

Notes:
a commissioned libretto for A one-woman opera, commissioned by Japanese composer - Shigeaki SaegUSA

1st Produced:
Not Yet Performed    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
libretto for a one-woman opera

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Groupie

Synopsis:
MATTIE BEANCOURT, a 61 year old woman, reads the autobiography of MARK GORMAN, a famous painter. Having grown up in the same East End streets she writes to him. A correspondence develops. She visits him unannounced, and discovers he lives in near poverty and neglect. Her personality is sunny, his is curmudgeonly. their impact upon each other is startling.

View Excerpt

Notes:
Originally commissioned in 2001 for Radio 4. Subsequently restructured for the stage.

1st Produced:
Touring Italy     2001

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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I'm Talking About Jerusalem

I'm Talking About Jerusalem
ADA KAHN, the daughter of the 'Chicken Soup' family, marries DAVE SIMMONDS. they move to an isolated house in Norfolk where they struggle through a back-to-the-land experiment. DAVE makes furniture by hand. Friends and family visit them throughout their 12 rural years charting and commenting on the fortunes of their experiment. It doesn't work, but they end gratified to have had the courage to try.

View Excerpt

Notes:
part of the Wesker Trilogy. Revised version produced London, 1960

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Penguin, London, 1960   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  9            Female:  4            Other:  doubling

Further Reference:
-

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Journalists, The

Synopsis:
Setting - A Sunday Newspaper. theme - journalism as a metaphor for the Lilliputian mentality that denies, diminishes, and leads finally to self-destruction, or self-loathing at best. the time - 70s, covering six days in six different weeks. Monday of the first week, Tuesday of the second week, and so on, a structure within which news events are discussed, and personal lives played out. the story - Mary Mortimer, the central character, a tough journalist with her own column becomes obsessed by a charismatic Labour politician she suspects is a charlatan, and is determined to bring him down. In the process she destroys the life of one of her children. STOP PRESS: Four startling interviews with Tory cabinet ministers punctuate a play written before Margaret Thatcher was voted leader of the Conservative party!

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Notes:
1st professional production Wilhelmshaven, West Germany 10/10/81. Written 1972

1st Produced:
Criterion Theatre, Coventry (Amateur Company)     1977

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in Dialog, Poland. (TQ Publications-Writers and Readers, London,1975), 1974   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  24            Female:  8            Other:  + messengers, subs etc. Doubling

Further Reference:
-

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Joy and Tyranny

Joy and Tyranny
my preoccupation,' says Arnold Wesker in his interview/portrait Ambivalences (published by Oberon Books) 'with-violence-stemming from-perceived-intimidation-by-the-bright-ones who dare to be cleve ror simply different, began with an incident at school. While queuing for a school meal, one of the other boys wanted me to try his liquorice stick .I didn't want to. This other pupil insisted. I continued to decline. I didn'tlike liquorice! That I didn't want to share what he liked, what he thought was good, enraged the other boy who couldn't bear my indifference to his taste, and he hit me. I've never lost this image of violence induced by the outsider, the one who dissents, the one who doesn't share in what others like or believe. One day', Wesker vowed, 'I may write a play beginning with that image  of the boy who wants another boy to share his taste in liquorice and hits him because he doesn't. It'll be an exploration of the nature of violence.' In late 2010 he wrote just such a play, Joy and Tyranny, but the playwright doesn't describe it as a play, rather as: Arias and variations on the theme of violence. In fact it is a patchwork quilt knitting together many extracts from other of his works, as though throughout his career he was infusing those works, ghost-like, with a hidden play waiting the right time to emerge.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2011) >>>    978-1849431088

Music:
-

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Genre:
Arias and variations on the theme of violence

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  5            Other:  voices

Further Reference:
-

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Kitchen Musical, The

Synopsis:
A balletic musical for song, dance and dialogue.

Notes:
Book by Arnold Wesker based on his play the Kitchen; lyrics by Nigel Forde; music by Derek Barnes and barrington Pheloung. In 1988 Koichi Kimura, who had directed the play six times in Japan, gave the Author 30,000 to seed the project. It took twelve years to put together

1st Produced:
Tokyo     2000

Organisations:
Chijinkai

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Musical

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  large cast

Further Reference:
-

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Kitchen, The

Kitchen, The
Set in the basement kitchen of a large restaurant, thirty chefs, waitresses, and kitchen porters, slowly begin the day preparing to serve lunch. the central story tells of a frustrated love affair between a high-spirited, young, German chef, PETER, and a married English waitress, MONIQUE. PART ONE slowly builds to a frenzy of serving. PART TWO is a lyrical period -the kitchen porters and chefs linger after serving lunch, and talk about their dreams of a better life. In PART THREE everyone returns for the slower evening service during which PETER, finally turned down by MONIQUE, goes berserk and smashes the gas leads to the ovens. the proprietor, bewildered by PETER's violence, the nature of which he cannot understand, asks his workers what more is there to life than work, money and food.

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Notes:
full length version presented by the English Stage Company At the Royal Court theatre opening 27 June 1961

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "New English Dramatists 2", Penguin, London, 1960
Oberon Books (2011) >>>    978-1849430272

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  18            Female:  12            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Wearing - the London Stage 59.189

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Lady Othello

Synopsis:
STANTON, professor of American literature, married with two children, has - in the course of a lecture tour in the States - fallen in love with ROSIE, a black, New York 'mature' student. He's returning to that city to spend time with her and discover the true depth of his feelings. the play charts their riotous, sad, comic, bawdy days together during which he realises their relationship cannot work.

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Notes:
Adapted from An original film script written in 1980. Bought by Goldcrest Films but never made.

1st Produced:
Student Production At The Miskin Theatre, University Of North Kent     2000

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays of Arnold Wesker 6", Penguin, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Love Story

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Letter To A Daughter

Synopsis:
MELANIE is an established 'chansonnier' with a cult following. She is writing a letter to her daughter, which she imagines is going to be a letter of advice. It develops into a letter confessing guilt for having been what she feels was an inadequate mother.

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Notes:
the play is punctuated by six songs, five of which Are part of the letter, the sixth is MELANIE performing in concert. Lyrics by the Author, beautiful melodies composed by Benjamin Till. Televised Norway, 1992. Sixth in A cycle of six 'One Woman Plays'.

1st Produced:
Seoul, South Korea     1992

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 7, Penguin, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
One Woman Play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  for a female singer who can act

Further Reference:
-

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Letter To Myself

Synopsis:
! the 'letter' is written by Marike, the daughter from 'Letter To A Daughter'. She's writing to herself aged 18. In the process responds to the 'life advice' put to her by her singer/mother in that letter her mother had written to her.

Notes:
a one Act companion play to 'Letter To A Daughter', written for A thirteen to fourteen year old Actress, originally for 13-year-old Isabel Rabey At her request!

1st Produced:
Aberystwyth University Studio Theatre     2004

Organisations:
Lurking Truth

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
One Woman Play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Life Is A Market

Synopsis:
Commissioned by Jack Hylton. Music by Dave Lee. Subsequently renamed Stand Up! Stand Up!

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Never Performed    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Musical

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Little Old Lady

Synopsis:
Little Old Lady: Set in the carriage of a moving London underground train. Two youngsters, an old lady, and others if extras can be afforded. At one of the stations a thuggish young man enters and begins to smoke. Smoking is forbidden. the old lady challenges him to put it out. He refuses. She asks the others to join in with her protest. No one dares. She threatens to pull the cord to stop the train. the thug intimidates her. Everyone waits to see if she'll pull the cord.

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Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Sigtuna, Sweden     1988

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "New Plays I" ed Peter Terson, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1989   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Childrens Youth Audience

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Longitude

Longitude
In the early 18th century the inability to find longitude led to such loss of life and cargo that Parliament passed an act offering 20,000 to anyone who solved the problem. Isaac Newton knew a sea clock would solve it but did not believe such a clock could be invented. Scientists focused on the lunar solution. JOHN HARRISON, a carpenter and joiner from Lincolnshire, taught himself to mend clocks. He invented a land clock that ran accurately, and set himself the task of inventing a clock that could run accurately at sea. He spent his life perfecting it and, together with his son, fulfilled the tests required by Parliament. For complex reasons the complete prize was never awarded to him. the play traces a lifetime's conflict between uneducated genius and the establishment. An epic play in a Hogarthian setting calling for music- HARRISON was also a choirmaster.

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Notes:
A commissioned play based on A best-selling book of the same name by Dava Sobel; greatly Aided by Humphrey Quill's book 'John Harrison: the Man Who Found Longitude'. the play is nor, At the time of this printing, in its final stage. Ten Actors to play man

1st Produced:
Greenwich, London     2005

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Amber Lane Press, 2006   978-1872868400

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  9            Female:  1            Other:  doubling, extras

Further Reference:
-

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Love Letters On Blue Paper

Synopsis:
VICTOR, a retired Yorkshire trade union leader, is dying of leukaemia. He wants to keep this from his wife, SONIA. Instead he calls to his bedside his protege, the young MAURICE STAPLETON, Professor of Art, in whom he confides, and with whom he attempts to confront 'the big questions'. SONIA writes letters to him with neither beginnings nor endings, posts them at the bottom of the road, and delivers them to him in the mornings with his other mail. Neither of them talks about the letters, they begin as simple recollections and end as passionate declarations. Through them she reveals a love she was unable to express and, in recalling their glorious life together, prepares him for death.

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Notes:
from own story, televised 1976. National theatre, 1978

1st Produced:
Syracuse Stage, Syracuse, New York     1977

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
TQ Publications-Writers and Readers, London, 1978   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Men Die Women Survive

Synopsis:
Her writer husband, MONTCRIEFF, left MINERVA, a businesswoman, five years ago. MISCHA, a Hebrew scholar, left her financier husband, LEO, two years ago. CLAIRE, researcher for, and mistress of, shadow cabinet minister, VINCENT, has just been abandoned by him to pursue family and career. the three women have come together for dinner in order to console CLAIRE. Each has prepared one of the three courses and selected an accompanying wine. Each explains the reason for their choice. In the process we hear of the relationships with their men and gradually realise that CLAIRE has revenged herself by betraying her politician lover, In between, an actor plays out scenes from the life of the three men.

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Notes:
previously entitled 'three Women Talking'

1st Produced:
Northlight Theatre, Chicago     1992

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
( as Three Women Talking) in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 7, Penguin, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Menace

Synopsis:
An evening in the lives of lonely, frustrated people living separate lives in separate rooms. Constantly recurring is the ominous sound of an aeroplane. the 'menace' is the threat of a nuclear attack. the final scene is of a folk dance which gives the tension release and a quality of joy. Menace is the precursor of the Old Ones. Could be staged.

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Notes:
Originally commissioned in 1960 by Granada TV who turned it down As not being sufficiently 'realistic'. Picked up by Herbert Wise who directed it for the BBC. Transmitted 8 December 1963. Written 1961

1st Produced:
Bbc Tv     1963

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Six Sundays In January", Cape, London, 1971   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
TV Play

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  3            Other:  others

Further Reference:
-

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Merchant, The

Synopsis:
Set in the Jewish Ghetto of Venice, 1563, this play reworks not Shakespeare's 'the Merchant of Venice' but the three stories from which Shakespeare wove his play. the core plot remains, the relationships are different. SHYLOCK, a successful loan-banker with a passion for collecting old books, is a friend of the world-weary Venetian merchant, ANTONIO, whose long-forgotten godson, BASSANIO, a fortune hunter, seeks him out to borrow 3000 ducats for the wooing of PORTIA, an educated woman of the Renaissance, and an heiress. ANTONIO must borrow the ducats from his friend, who unhesitatingly agrees but is offended when ANTONIO asks for a contract, His Venetian friend reminds him: the laws of Venice permit no dealings with Jews without contract. SHYLOCK angrily proposes an absurd contract for a pound of ANTONIO's flesh to mock the laws of Venice, ANTONIO's ships are wrecked. the pound of flesh must be forfeited. PORTIA argues that the contract is nonsense. She saves SHYLOCK's life but not his fortune. ANTONIO loses a friend, PORTIA must marry a man she despises, JESSICA, SHYLOCK's daughter, realises too late she's linked herself to a religious bigot.

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Notes:
revised version As ShylockShylock

1st Produced:
Royal Dramaten-Theatre, Stockholm     1976

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "ADAM International Review" Nos 401-403, London (also Henschel Veriag, East Germany, 1977; Penguin collected plays vol 4, 1980), 1977   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  10            Female:  5            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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Mistress, The

Synopsis:
SAMANTHA is a famous dress designer. Her lover is a married man. She is constantly at the mercy of his family demands. Being famous she receives endless appeals for money to worthy causes. these she pushes aside until there are so many she has to make a decision where to donate her money. On this evening, in her workshop, she is pretending she is there to work when in truth she's waiting for 'that phone call'. Between waiting for the call and deciding on her charities she slowly becomes drunk. A comically fierce play about private and public guilt.

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Notes:
Fifth in A cycle of six 'One Woman Plays'

1st Produced:
Arezzo, Italy     1991

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays of Arnold Wesker 5", Penguin, London, 1989   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
One Act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Mothers: Four Portraits

Synopsis:
RUTH - woman as unmarried mother
NAOMI - woman as mother who never was
MIRIAM- woman as failed mother
DEBORAH- woman as mother earth
In France and elsewhere they have been performed with Yardsale using
STEPHANIE - woman as abandoned mother.

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Notes:
commissioned for Japanese Festival of one Act plays. See Also Four Portraits - Of Mothers

1st Produced:
Tokyo     1982

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
(as Four Portraits - Of Mothers) in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 5, Penguin, London, 1989   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Four ten to fifteen minute vignettes

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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New Play, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
see Circles of Perception

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Nottingham Captain, The: A Moral for Narrator and Orchestra

Synopsis:
Speeches by Byron, Castlereagh, and Jeremy Bentham set a scene of industrial unrest and threatening rebellion in the early nineteenth century. the action concerns the government's employment of OLIVER, an agent provocateur, to incite a pathetically ill-organised but potentially effective uprising. Three leaders, including the so-called Nottingham Captain, Jeremiah Brandreth, are hanged for treason. Two version of this work - one in the jazz idiom (music composed by Dave Lee) and one in the classical idiom (music composed by the late Wilfred Josephs) - were performed at the festivals in a double-bill with Stravinsky's 'the Soldier's Tale', directed by Cohn Graham.

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Notes:
A documentary prepared At short notice - because the commissioned writer failed to produce A script - for the Centre Fortytwo Festivals in 1962. Opened At the first festival in Wellingborough on 11 September.

1st Produced:
Wellingborough, Northamptonshire     1962

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Six Sundays In January", Cape, London, 1971   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Moral for Narrator, Voices and Orchestra

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  -            Other:  singer

Further Reference:
-

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Old Ones, The

Synopsis:
the 'old ones' are: SARAH, her two brothers, BOOMY- the pessimist, and MANNY- the optimist; MANNY's wife, GERDA, and SARAH's eccentric friends -TERESSA, MILLIE and JACK. the young are the children of SARAH and BOOMY. Manic MANNY and gloomy BOOMY constantly quarrel due to an incident in their youth. their form of quarrel is an eccentric ritual: a 'quotation competition' in which each seeks to confront the other with the ultimate, the irrefutable quotation from the classics to prove that life is either good or bad. Set against scenes of defiant old age 'the Old Ones' plays out the conflict between the optimistic and pessimistic spirit.

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Notes:
written 1970

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Cape, London, 1973   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  5            Other:  3 youths

Further Reference:
-

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One More Ride on the Merry-Go-Round

Synopsis:
JASON, a Cambridge professor of philosophy, separated from his wife, NITA, is enjoying life with his mistress, MONICA, a young American university lecturer. He's contemplating the future, Should he retire and see more of the world, experience more of the life about which he philosophises? In the first act he's full of contempt for his wife whose image he projects as dowdy and uninteresting. In the second act we discover that she's far from this image. NITA is dazzling, energetic, and has a young lover. We realise that JASON and NITA had wished the other to be what each became, but only after they were separated! A comic plot involving academics who get high on a hash birthday cake, a recalcitrant daughter, and the appearance of an illegitimate son who's a magician.

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Notes:
written under pseudonym 1978

1st Produced:
Phoenix Theatre, Leicester     1985

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in 'six Sundays in January', Cape, London, 1971   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Phoenix Phoenix, Burning Bright

Phoenix Phoenix, Burning Bright
Two couples, one Danish one English, share a warm Whitsun holiday in the Cambridgeshire countryside. KARL-OLAF, a historian, is spending a post-graduate year in Cambridge with his wife, JANIKA, a social worker, and their two children. RAPHAEL, professor of history of art, (and one time senior lecturer to KARL-OLAF), together with his wife, MADEAU, are visiting the Danes. Balmy days are spent eating, cycling, lazing in the sun, listening to music, and conversing. KARL-OLAF and JANIKA are having matrimonial problems. RAPHAEL is going through a crisis of political belief, with MADEAU anxiously looking on. the calm and balmy days contrast with tensions of heart and mind.

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Notes:
Adapted for TV from one of Wesker's short stories, the Visit. Never made. Available for reading

1st Produced:
Unproduce     1980

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  2            Other:  1b 1g, plus extras

Further Reference:
-

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Roots

Roots
Explores the theme of 'self-discovery'. BEATIE BRYANT, daughter of Norfolk farm labourers, has fallen in love with RONNIE KAHN from the 'Chicken Soup' family. She returns from London to visit her family all of whom await the arrival of RONNIE. During the two-week waiting period BEATIE is full of RONNIE's thoughts and words. To greet him the family gathers for a huge Saturday afternoon tea. He doesn't turn up. Instead comes a letter saying he doesn't think the relationship will work. the family turns on BEATIE. In the process of defending herself she finds, to her delight, that she's using her own voice.

View Excerpt

Notes:
part of the Wesker Trilogy

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Penguin, London, 1959
Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, London (2013)>>>    978-1472527714

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  4            Other:  doubling

Further Reference:
Wearing - the London Stage 59.147

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Shoeshine

Synopsis:
A student of philosophy achieves his degree but discovers philosophy can't earn him a living. Decides to open a shoeshine box - survival is essential. Family and friends argue that it is demeaning to shine people's shoes. He cannot understand why. the days of servility are past, they tell him. He can't accept their arguments. If there is no other work then he must do what is needed to survive. He considers their moral arguments hollow. In the street where he sets up his shoebox he encounters further hostility - beaten up by young thugs. Undeterred, he returns, to set up his shoeshine box.

View Excerpt

Notes:
written 1987

1st Produced:
Never Performed    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "New Plays 3" ed Peter Terson, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1989   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Childrens Youth Audience

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  4            Other:  17 characters to be played by 9 actors

Further Reference:
-

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Shylock

Synopsis:
Set in the Jewish Ghetto of Venice, 1563, this play reworks not Shakespeare's 'the Merchant of Venice' but the three stories from which Shakespeare wove his play. the core plot remains, the relationships are different. SHYLOCK, a successful loan-banker with a passion for collecting old books, is a friend of the world-weary Venetian merchant, ANTONIO, whose long-forgotten godson, BASSANIO, a fortune hunter, seeks him out to borrow 3000 ducats for the wooing of PORTIA, an educated woman of the Renaissance, and an heiress. ANTONIO must borrow the ducats from his friend, who unhesitatingly agrees but is offended when ANTONIO asks for a contract, His Venetian friend reminds him: the laws of Venice permit no dealings with Jews without contract. SHYLOCK angrily proposes an absurd contract for a pound of ANTONIO's flesh to mock the laws of Venice, ANTONIO's ships are wrecked. the pound of flesh must be forfeited. PORTIA argues that the contract is nonsense. She saves SHYLOCK's life but not his fortune. ANTONIO loses a friend, PORTIA must marry a man she despises, JESSICA, SHYLOCK's daughter, realises too late she's linked herself to a religious bigot.

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Notes:
written 1976. Revised version of 'the Merchant'

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in Shylock and Other Plays, Penguin, London (includes the Journalists, the Wedding Feast, the Merchant as Shylock), 1990   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  10            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
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Sullied Hand

Synopsis:
Three couples gather for dinner in the home of one of them. MALCOLM, the husband host, a desperate writer, has a brainwave for making a fortune.Demonstrating his 'brainwave' involves each of the guests enacting - to the deep consternation of LYNN, his wife - a compromising private action. Sad and funny.

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Notes:
written 1981

1st Produced:
Edinburgh     1984

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Comedy One Act

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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their Very Own and Golden City

Synopsis:
ANDREW COBHAM, an apprentice draughtsman, and his young friends from Durham spend a day sketching in Durham Cathedral. On entering, ANDREW is overwhelmed. the year is 1926. As though by osmosis ANDREW knows that one day he will become an architect. the youthful, exuberant friends talk about the future that is all before them. they will build six beautiful cities, which will be paid for and owned by the people who live in them. Industry will be capitalised by the Trade Unions. In the beginning all happens as they plan. We constantly return to the Cathedral to witness their ardent hopes paralleling their future until, at a certain moment, that future swerves in a different direction. Reality in conflict with the Dream. Two groups of four actors play Andrew and his friends as youths and as characters who grow older and disillusioned. But the play ends in 1926, in the Cathedral, with youth's hopes. the Dream remains. We have only 'flashed forward'.

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Notes:
Royal Court, London, 1966. Revised version (also diector:produced Aarhaus, Denmak, 1974), in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 2, Penguin, London, 1990

1st Produced:
Belgium National Theatre, Brussells     1965

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Cape, London, 1966   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  18            Female:  3            Other:  doubling

Further Reference:
-

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Three Woman Talking

Synopsis:
Her writer husband, MONTCRIEFF, left MINERVA, a businesswoman, five years ago. MISCHA, a Hebrew scholar, left her financier husband, LEO, two years ago. CLAIRE, researcher for, and mistress of, shadow cabinet minister, VINCENT, has just been abandoned by him to pursue family and career. the three women have come together for dinner in order to console CLAIRE. Each has prepared one of the three courses and selected an accompanying wine. Each explains the reason for their choice. In the process we hear of the relationships with their men and gradually realise that CLAIRE has revenged herself by betraying her politician lover, In between, an actor plays out scenes from the life of the three men.

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Notes:
see 'men Die Women Survive

1st Produced:
Evanston, Illinois     1992

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 7, Penguin, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Voices On the Wind

Synopsis:
A play about energy defeating lethargy, enacting a story within a story within a story employing street games, strange and ethereal moments, a storm at sea, ghostly voices, simple story-telling (against a background of action), flying, quick-change sets, construction on stage, a birth, masks, electronic sounds and original music. An old man is part of a shipload of people going to a new land. He was born with magical powers to fly, foretell the future, and hear voices on the wind. One voice he falls in love with fades after many years. He has spent his life looking for it. He's found it again and is on his way to meet her. In the process of telling his story to a family on the boat he tells the story of the woman he fell in love with.

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Notes:
play for young people involving incidental music, electronic sounds, laser sets And the inventiveness of the performers. Adapted from 'Fatlips', the Author's book for young people. Written 1980

1st Produced:
Never Performed    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
play for young people

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  6 adults and 9 child actors play 10 youngsters, 11 adults and the islanders of Tamak.

Further Reference:
-

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Wedding Feast, The

Synopsis:
LOUIS LITVANOV, a shoe manufacturer with idealistic notions about the need to treat your employees as equals, finds himself outside a house from which come the sounds of a wedding. He recognises the voices and realises it's the wedding of one of his employees. LITVANOV persuades himself that if he joins the wedding guests he will be warmly greeted, and admired for calling in to wish them well. He doesn't plan to stay but is persuaded to, as an honoured guest. Slowly he becomes drunk with them. the proximity of their employer invites the abuse of his employees. the wedding party ends as a comic, chilling disaster.

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Notes:
Based on Dostoevsky's story 'A Nasty Incident'. Originally A film script commissioned by Hollywood Actor, the late Anthony Quinn. Produced Leeds Playhouse, 1977.

1st Produced:
Stadrsteater, Stockholm     1974

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Plays and Players. April & May ( also Collected Plays, Penguin Vol 4, 1980), 1977   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Adaptation

Parts:
Male:  11            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Whatever Happened to Betty Lemon

Synopsis:
LADY BETTY LEMON, widow of a Labour peer, 'crippled by everything old age brings', receives a letter informing her she's been voted 'Handicapped Woman of the Year'. It appals her. She spends the next 45 minutes rehearsing the speech she will never give and raging on behalf of those handicapped by fear of their priests, charlatans, charismatic politicians, marriage, ignorant teachers and bigoted parents. At a certain moment her motorised wheelchair takes on a life of its own - yet another of her life's vicissitudes. the only surrealistic play in the cannon, and one that the author describes as 'a self-portrait of defiance and despair'.

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Notes:
Fourth in A cycle of six 'One Woman Plays'

1st Produced:
Paris     1986

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays International", London, April (include in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 5, Penguin, London, 1989), 1987   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
One Act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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When God Wanted a Son

Synopsis:
JOSHUA, professor of semantics, is Jewish; MARTHA is Gentile. they were married and are now separated. CONNIE is their daughter struggling to be a comedienne. Her humour is sophisticated and sardonic, She's not having much success. She returns home for comfort, hoping to understand and reconcile her confused and confusing background. Her mother, attempting to dabble in the stock market, is a closet anti-Semite. JOSHUA returns to persuade his estranged wife to forgive and forget and invest money in his wild scheme: a project to build a machine that will detect true character through the inflections of the human voice. MARTHA tries but cannot bring herself to like or respect him. He is too uncomfortable a personality. the play argues that anti-Semitism, like stupidity, is here to stay.

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Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays of Arnold Wesker 6", Penguin, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Wild Spring

Synopsis:
GERTIE, a forty-four year old actress at the peak of her career, befriends SAM, aged nineteen. He believes he can only ever be a black* car park attendant, she believes she can be more useful than a mere actress. Each tries to argue the other out of the fond images they have of themselves. Fifteen years later, GERTIE's career is in crisis. She's in love - unrequited - with KENNEDY, the younger black company manager who believes he's an 'artist' but who in fact is a born entrepreneur. the play explores acting as a metaphor for the false images of ourselves with which we fall in love.

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Notes:
This play was world premiered in Tokyo, And has been running for three years in Budapest where the Actress won A prestigious prize for her performance. the two men need nor be black but can be Any kind of ethnic outsider. Written 1992.

1st Produced:
Tokyo     1994

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 7, Penguin, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Yardsale

Synopsis:
STEPHANIE, a Brooklyn schoolteacher, returns home from school to prepare a meal for SHELDON, her teacher husband, before they go to a lecture, She talks to him imagining he's in the house somewhere, realises he isn't, goes to the bedroom to prepare herself, finds a note from him - he's left her. Divided into eight short scenes: the homecoming, the discovery, the depression, the phone call, To the art gallery, To the restaurant, To the bookshop, To a Yard sale. Comical, bitter, angry, defiant.

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Notes:
Writteb 1983. Broadcast 1984. Third in A cycle of six 'One Woman Plays'

1st Produced:
Edinburgh     1985

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays International", London, April (included in the Plays of Arnold Wesker 5, 1989), 1987   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
One Act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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