The Kitchen Musical
The Kitchen is the author's first play. It has been performed in over 50 major cities around the world.
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 and was finally directed by Kimura with his company, Chijinkai, in the summer of 2000.
Book by Wesker, lyrics by Nigel Forde, score composed by Derek Barnes based on ideas sketched by Barrington Pheloung.
The unique aspect of this musical is that the book calls for music and dance from beginning to end.
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
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 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.
The playwright's first novel. Abandoned by her London boyfriend, Ronnie Kahn, Beatie Bryant became determined to improve herself, and to find her own voice. HONEY opens when she comes out of university with a degree. Education has made her feel a whole human being. And yet her encounters with the world outside are confusing and contradictory. The old man in Shepherd's Market, the bookbinder, hidden in her little shop, the diverting sexual encounter, only serve to fragment her once again. Even her love affair and the extraordinary career she stumbles upon, parallel her fear of fragmentation. Written with a playwright's eye for scene and dialogue, HONEY is an extraordinary addition to Arnold Wesker's brilliant career.
Abandoned by her London boyfriend, Ronnie Kahn, Beatie Bryant became determined to improve herself, and to find her own voice. HONEY opens when she comes out of university with a degree. Education has made her feel a whole human being. And yet her encounters with the world outside are confusing and contradictory. The old man in Shepherd's Market, the bookbinder, hidden in her little shop, the diverting sexual encounter, only serve to fragment her once again. Even her love affair and the extraordinary career she stumbles upon, parallel her fear of fragmentation. Written with a playwright's eye for scene and dialogue, HONEY is an extraordinary addition to Arnold Wesker's brilliant career.
Wesker's Love Plays
Each play grapples with the timeless problems accompanying two people in love. The most intimate and personal of relationships are placed under uncompromising scrutiny. This volume contains:
The Four Seasons
Love Letters On Blue Paper
All Things Tire of Themselves
In addition to Arnold Wesker's work for the stage, he has published collections of stories, essays, a book for young people, an autobiography, and his first novel, Honey, but until now he has not brought out a poetry collection even though he has written poems and published them in magazines for many years. For All Things Tire of Themselves he has selected what he considers to be his best and most characteristic poems.
The Rocking Horse Kid
Stage adaptation from radio version about a black teenager who wants to go round the world on a horse.
The main intention of this anthology is to offer actors and students of drama a range of audition pieces: but is is also hoped that the collection will introduce a public to the later plays, which may not be as familiar as the earlier ones.
Wesker's Social Plays
This volume includes the author's most performed work The Kitchen (1957) - produced in sixty cities, from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo, from Paris to Moscow, from Montreal to Zurich. This volume also contains:
Voices On The Wind
The Rocking Horse Kid
When God Wanted A Son
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 clever or 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't like 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.
Wesker's Political Plays
A volume containing five political plays:
Chips With Everything
Their Very Own And Golden City
Phoenix, Phoenix Burning Bright
Wesker On Theatre
Wesker On Theatre is a collection of essays by one of Britain's most well-known, prolific and controversial writers, which explores his thoughts on drama and the theatre gained from a writing career that spans over fifty years.
Joy and Tyranny
A volume containing the stage play Joy and Tyranny
Chicken Soup With Barley
A volume published to coincide with a revival at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs, June 2011
A volume containing:
A portrait of Arnold Wesker from A to W, interviewed by Chiara Montenero.
Arnold Wesker's extraordinary play, The Kitchen, premiered at the Royal Court in 1959 and has since been performed in over 30 countries. The Kitchen puts the workplace centre stage in a blackly funny and furious examination of life lived at breakneck speed, when work threatens to define who we are. The Kitchen was revived in 2011 at the National Theatre to critical acclaim.
A volume containing:
The Wedding Feast
One More Ride On The Merry-Go-Round
The Old Ones
Wesker's Historical Plays
Presented in this volume are four epic history plays, which touch on the age-old conflicts caused by religion, science and the establishment. The volume contains: Shylock
Wesker's Domestic Plays
This volume contains:
Men Die Women Survive