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.
Kenneth Tynan, The Observer
The passion of Mr Wesker's theme is matched by
the living fire in his writing… its quality is undiminished
by the passing years
Bernard Levin, The Times
... there is far more to admire than cavil over, and there is nothing sentimental about Wesker’s portrait of the Kahn family that he based at least partly on his own. The souring of political hope is strongly caught. And Sarah’s passionate climactic insistence that “if you don’t care, you’ll die” sounded like a moving clarion call even to a crusty old Tory like me.
Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph
...There is a tremendous scene in the first act in which Sarah turns on her thieving, work shy husband, ...with uncontrolled fury. Equally stirring is the play's climax, when the young Ronnie, shattered by the sight of the Soviet tanks rolling into Budapest, confronts his mother's unshakeable faith in socialist brotherhood, ...it is precisely because Wesker can understand both sides of the argument that the scene radiates such power.
Michael Billington: The Guardian