King's Head stages season for Arnold Wesker's 80thDate: 13 March 2012
The King's Head Theatre has announced a “landmark season of premieres” celebrating the 80th birthday of playwright Arnold Wesker.
The ‘Wesker at 80’ season will feature the London premiere of Denial (15 May to 9 June 2012), his 1997 play about false memory syndrome and the first London revival of his rarely staged opera Caritas (20 May to 10 June 2012), commissioned by Opera North for the Huddersfield Opera Festival in 1991.
This will be followed in April 2013 by the premiere of The Wesker Trilogy: Revisited, a stage adaptation of an unproduced film script based on his trilogy of plays -Chicken Soup With Barley (which was recently revived at the Royal Court), Roots & I’m Talking About Jerusalem - adapted for the stage by Rachel Grunwald and King’s Head artistic director Adam Spreadbury- Maher.
Arnold Wesker said of the season: “It is gratifying when anybody wants to do something of one’s work and I’m flattered that productions of little known works will be staged in London to mark my 80th birthday. I don’t know what people will think about the way three well known plays have been edited in The Wesker Trilogy: Revisited and I’m intrigued to find out. I adapted the plays as a film script that was ultimately never produced. Perhaps the King’s Head Theatre production will finally lead to that film being made.”
Wesker, who was knighted in 2006, burst onto the scene at the Royal Court in the late 1950s and was grouped together with John Osborne, Edward Bond, Howard Brenton and others as one of the “angry young men” who transformed British theatre.
To date he has written more than 40 other plays, including Chips with Everything, The Kitchen (revived at the National last year), The Four Seasons, Love Letters on Blue Paper, Shylock, Annie Wobbler, When God Wanted a Son, Caritas, Circles of Perception, Denial, Groupie, Letter to a Daughter, Blood Libel and Wild Spring.