The King’s Head Theatre has announced their intention to stage a season of work to mark the 80th birthday of Arnold Wesker. Beginning in May 2012, the ‘Wesker at 80’ season will feature the London premiere of Wesker’s 1997 ‘controversial false-memory’ play, Denial, (15th May to 9th June); this will run alongside the first London revival of his opera, Caritas (20th May to 10th June); commissioned by Opera North for the Huddersfield Opera Festival in 1991, the piece has been rarely staged since.
In April 2013 the venue will stage The Wesker Trilogy: Revisited, a stage adaptation of a previously unproduced film script based on Wesker’s renowned Roots trilogy: Chicken Soup With Barley, Roots and I’m Talking About Jerusalem. This will be adapted for the stage by Rachel Grunwald and the Artistic Director of the King’s Head, Adam Spreadbury-Maher.
Arnold Wesker is said to be “gratified” and “flattered” by the season. Of the revised version of his trilogy he said: “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.”
Recent productions of the playwright’s work include Dominic Cooke’s revival of Chicken Soup with Barley for the Royal Court and Bijan Sheibani’s production of his 1957 play, The Kitchen for the National Theatre.
For tickets and further details of the season, visit the King’s Head website.