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Chicken Soup with Barley

1 hour, 40 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 20 May 2012

A chance to hear a transfer to radio of The Royal Court Theatre's acclaimed 2011 production of Arnold Wesker's landmark play from 1958 that captures the collapse of an ideology, alongside the disintegration of a family.

Arnold Wesker celebrates his 80th birthday this month and this is one of the plays that made him a leading voice of 1960s "kitchen sink" British drama.

The kettle boils in 1936 as the fascists are marching. Tea is brewed in 1946, with disillusion in the air at the end of the war. Twenty years on in 1956, as rumours spread of Hungarian revolution, the cup is empty.

Sarah Kahn, an East End Jewish mother, is a feisty political fighter and a staunch communist. Battling against the State and her shirking husband she desperately tries to keep her family together.

This landmark state-of-the-nation play is a panoramic drama portraying the age-old battle between realism and idealism.

Sarah Kahn Samantha Spiro
Harry Kahn Danny Webb
Monty Blatt Harry Peacock
Dave Simmonds Nitzan Sharron
Prince Silver Rene Zagger
Hymie Kossof Steve Furst
Cissie Kahn Alexis Zegerman
Ada Kahn Jenna Augen
Ronnie Kahn Tom Rosenthal
Bessie Blatt Rebecca Gethings

Chicken Soup with Barley is a Royal Court Theatre production and was directed for the stage in 2011 by Dominic Cooke, and for radio by Simon Godwin, and produced for BBC Radio 3 by Catherine Bailey.


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