Kirsty Young's castaway is playwright Arnold Wesker.
Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the playwright Sir Arnold Wesker. He's a prolific writer and has penned more than 40 plays as well as books of poetry, short stories, children's tales and most recently a novel. But he first came to prominence in the late 1950s as one of the group of Angry Young Men; dramatists who made their art out of the stuff of everyday life.
He was the son of Jewish communists and was brought up in the East End of London in the 1930s. He remembers being taken on marches and demonstrations and says that memories of Cable Street, when Oswald Mosley was prevented from marching his blackshirts through predominantly Jewish areas of London, weighed heavily in his home. His background strongly informed his writing and his first five plays were all staged at the Royal Court Theatre. He says that even today, he must write something each day as a way of justifying his existence - even if it is only his daily diary entry.
[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]
Favourite track: The end of Gurrelieder by Arnold Schoenberg
Book: Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
Luxury: Supplies of pen and paper