Arnold Wesker: Chicken Soup with Barley (3064 words)


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Chicken Soup with Barley (1958) is a three-act drama by Arnold Wesker and the first in a trilogy based on his traumatic upbringing in the East End of London between 1936 and 1959. The other two plays in the trilogy are Roots (1959) and I’m Talking About Jerusalem (1960) which also explore what was to become Wesker’s life-time thematic concern with “lives wasted; people accepting second-best; lives of vulnerability from inadequate nourishment, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually; lives stultified from the wrong choices based on chimeric dreams and self-delusion” (Baker).

The Belgrade Theatre in Coventry performed Chicken Soup on 7 July 1958. John Dexter (1925-…

Citation: Baker, William. "Chicken Soup with Barley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 May 2021 [, accessed 19 June 2021.]

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