Theatre News

Arnold Wesker in quotes

Following the passing of playwright Arnold Wesker, we take a look at some of our favourite quotes

Playwright Arnold Wesker
Playwright Arnold Wesker
© Dan Wooller

Acclaimed playwright Arnold Wesker passed away at the age of 83 yesterday, you can read our full story on his passing here.

"If the electrician who comes to mend my fuse blows it instead, so I should stop having electricity? I should cut off my light? Socialism is my light, can you understand that?"

Chicken Soup with Barley, 1958

"Education ent only books and music – it's asking questions, all the time. There are millions of us, all over the country, and no one, not one of us, is asking questions, we're all taking the easiest way out."

Roots, 1959

"And then I saw the menu, stained with tea and beautifully written by a foreign hand, and on top it said…"Chips with everything". Chips with every damn thing. You breed babies and you eat chips with everything."

Chips with Everything, 1962

"Whatever happened to the good old days: you know, dirty attics, tuberculosis and general all-round suffering?"

Evening Standard Theatre Awards, 2005

[To Trevor Nunn] "This may not be the most diplomatic observation to make to the man from whom I’m hoping for a production, but do you have any idea how humiliating and depressing it is to read that a season "is strongly driven by directors expressing their choices of what they want to do next.

"There is something not quite right in a public being exposed only to what directors want to direct rather than what (established) writers have written."

As Much as I Dare: An Autobiography, 1994

"It could be said that I made a wrong move by suing the Royal Shakespeare Company. I have a feeling that it did not do a lot for my career." [After they commissioned a play called The Journalists and refused to stage it].

The Guardian, 2011

"You can't change people, he say, you can only give them some love and hope they'll take it"

Roots, 1959

"I'm not really a theatre man, I'm not a theatre personality. I don't mix with actors and directors. I just happen to write plays."

The Telegraph

"You're not a good writer because you come from a working class background and you're not a good writer because you've been through university. You're a good writer because you're a good writer and it's the work that matters, not the labels that surround you."

Desert Island Discs, 2006