Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Chicken Soup with Barley

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.

This is one of the plays that made Arnold Wesker 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.

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.

Release date:

1 hour, 40 minutes

Last on

Sun 27 Sep 2015 21:00


Role Contributor
WriterArnold Wesker
Sarah KahnSamantha Spiro
Harry KahnDanny Webb
Monty BlattHarry Peacock
Dave SimmondsNitzan Sharron
Prince SilverRene Zagger
Hymie KossofSteve Furst
Cissie KahnAlexis Zegerman
Ada KahnJenna Augen
Ronnie KahnTom Rosenthal
Bessie BlattRebecca Gethings

Binaural sound: doing the best for Beckett

Sir Ian McKellen and Carl Prekopp with the musicians from Words and Music

How immersive technology brings Beckett's radio plays to life.