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 Extracts from Arnold Wesker's Plays
Arnold Wesker

Nationality:


British (1932 - )
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Extracts from Arnold Wesker's Plays:

LONGITUDE (2002)

"... And while my timekeeper is dismantled and out of function your priest and professor the very very oh so reverend Neville Maskelyne will seek a trial of the ridiculous lunar method with its mad and cumbersome measurements between fixed stars and a crazy moon. And you'll love that, all of you. Your little heads will look up and gaze at the magnificence of the heavens and you'll imagine God is speaking to you, telling you the way, and it won't matter if there's a cloud or two or three or four you'll wait till they're passed and waste time calculating when all you need is my little piece of machinery. But no! Oh no! Too vulgar for you. What's a little metal, a few springs, and tiny wheels compared to the stars? Good Lord and little fishes, who is this upstart from up north with his tick tocking cogs and balances? Oh, yes. I know only too well why you want my timekeeper dismantled..."

 

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GROUPIE (2001)

"... I was an appendage for him. Something stuck on, but not special. He didn't need me. There was never any real passion there. To live a whole life knowing you were not special for anyone ... craving it ... to be loved and special. Just once in my life, before I die ..."

 

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BARABBAS (2000)

"But him? Thing',' ...wadjamacallim ... him? 'Loser' I thought to myself I looked at him as I walked away. born loser. And the gate clanked and the bar was drawn. horrible sounds if you're going in - clank! That's it! Sentence! Doom! Clank! But I was going out and... I mean ... I had to look back. Something made me look back. There he was, hands on the cell bar, his face between. Loser. A definite loser. I felt sorry for him. And to make it worse - he spoke. Well - not spoke, or if he did he was too far away for me to hear. But! saw. His lips. They moved. And a little tongue poked out. Made a 'th' shape. I could read the shape. "Th ...Thank you." To me they gave freedom and to him they gave - God knows what they gave, but he said "Thank you." I mean ... two Jew boys had it in for both of us..."

 

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THE KITCHEN MUSICAL (2000)

"There was time when men would make
A thing of beauty just for beauty's sake ..."

 

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BREAK, MY HEART (1997)

"Christ almighty! Who did I fucking marry? You weren't like this when I married you. You knew nothing when I married you. When we stood in front of that registrar you barely knew your mouth from your cunt and now they're both dry as them rows and rows of useless books there. Fucking Latin? Think you're cleverer than me do you? Cleverer? Cleverer? Fucking cleverer than me?"

 

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DENIAL (1997)

"... there exists a certain kind of mean mind that hates the sight of happiness. In anyone or any form. Loathes it. Difficult to comprehend how such a mind functions. What could there possibly be in the nature of happiness to arouse such hostility, such a demonic desire to destroy it? 'Because it's not mine'? 'I hate them being happy because I'm not happy'? Could it be that? Does one person's happiness highlight another's failure? Is that it? Too dazzling? 'Stars must fall! The mighty laid low! The achievers denied! The whole God blessÚd edifice of joy brought down to ease the pain of my miserable, insignificant life. How dare you love your parents when mine were unlovable? How dare your eyes sparkle with confidence and happiness? Happiness? You want happiness? I'll give you happiness.' Wham!"

 

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CIRCLES OF PERCEPTION (1996)

"In all this. how can I concentrate sufficiently to write a play? There's another factor. This dreaded 'writer's block' is being inflamed by fiction fatigue'. I'm tired of inventing fictitious characters with fictitious names, engaging in face-lifts, nose jobs, bone. restructures, all to hide my characters' original progenitors. So I'm writing this play about a play I can't write, and an irresponsible wildness of spirit has descended upon me. What, I ask myself if I write a play in which everyone is named? Arnold would be called Arnold, Dusty would be called Dusty, Leah, my mother, called Leah? Perhaps if I could just once, be relieved of the need for pretence, the block would shift. Perhaps. It's an interesting proposition, Arnold. Try it."

 

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BLUEY (1993)

"I didn't ring. Made no contact at all. She'd been so pretty, such a sweet and generous soul, I just couldn't 'face her dying... I'd have wept. She'd have seen her dying in my eyes. Wasn't strong enough for the pain of anything. Nor the pain of anything. Something had snapped in me. Disaster headlines in the press and I'd move on. The sight of starving children on television, I'd wee p. If I saw rudeness in my children or insensitivity I'd rage I was incapable of giving comfort ... And! was so ashamed. Audrey would have come to my deathbed. With all her lack of sophistication, her absence of what's called 'good taste' she would have found the right tone of voice, pitched her sunniness at the right angle. Not too high, not too bright, not too hot 'but a cool summer's evening full of drunk bees and trivia."

 

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THE CONFESSION (1993)

"Love love love love! Everyone talks to me about love. Love your neighbour! Love your parents! Love your children! Your husband! Your country! Nothing works without love! The most important thing in the world, they say. Love! What's so important about it, tell me? Tell me what's so lovely about love? What lovely thing hasn't been corrupted because of love? I'm listening, tell me!"

 

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WILD SPRING (1992)

"Just acting'. Are you aware, Mr Phillips, that society normally uses the name of our profession as a term of abuse? 'Oh ignore her, she's just acting!' Are you aware, Mr Phillips, that every night I go out there in front of an audience and pretend to be who lam not? Are you aware, Mr Phillips, that if I did that in public life I'd be shunned, vilified, called a humbug, a fraud, a sham, a fake, a liar? But up there, made-up, lights bright, someone else's words of wit and brilliance, I can dissemble to my heart's content, it's acceptable, no one gives a toss. What is despised in a person offstage I am deceiving an audience to praise on stage. And the more convincingly I deceive the more they praise."

 

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BLOOD LIBEL (1991)

"The ecumenical councils pass edict after edict declaring such belief in Jewish slaughter false, yet such belief persists. lam tired of the ignorance and stupidity of the simple flock. The simple flock chooses superstition for which it needs no learning. I am tired, yes, and full of contempt. Jesus was a Jew steeped in the knowledge of the wisest laws. Law, learning, mercy, wisdom - these are the pillars of the Christian faith. They represent all that! cherish in this damned existence, they are the only hope for hopeless mankind, they are what formed my life and what in life I informed. I will not bow to the fevered red intoxications of illiterate monks who love more their image before God than God's meaning to the world."

 

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MEN DIE WOMEN SURVIVE (1990)

"It's not a crime -to stop loving me. To stop loving me I could not say with my hand on my heart was a heinous crime. It's everyone's right to love, not to love, to love less, to stop loving. But of course it was not so simple, because she liked me, perhaps even more than liked me. And why not? I was a good man -faithful, loyal, dependable! I'd given her the best years of my life, her beloved children, days of roses and wine and verse beneath the bough. Why shouldn't she like me a little, even a lot? But love? That searing madness? That insatiable longing? That ache to be there all the time? That sharp nerve-end sharing of every domestic detail of the day: she watching him peel her an apple, him watching her drying her skin, she watching him shaving, swimming together, walking together, listening to music, watching a movie, just holding on to one another for the dear last years of life? None of that. All that dead and gone. Affection in place of passion.... Sad.... Sad and over.... Batteries run out.... Sing lullabies for the day's end.... Sing lamentations.... For the night has come...."

 

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LETTER TO A DAUGHTER (1990)

"... You made me feel like a dog on a chain! I had to be free! "I need my space!" I shouted. "No one is going to hold me back!" I raged. "This is my one and only life and I'm going to live it to the full!" Shouted, raged, scolded, and slunk off saturated with guilt like sweat, leaving you in your room so that I could be with the others, always traceable, messages with reception to say where I was, but - this woman, this young woman with energy and appetites was not going to miss out on the fun, was not going to miss out on anything life had to offer and - oh my God, Marike, terrible things happened, terrible awful experiences, traumatic, which you'll never forget and I'll never forget and! will always feel guilty for them and - oh my God! Once I was drunk, so drunk..."

 

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BEORHTEL'S HILL (1988)

"Strangers in their midst. Mark that, dearly beloved. I too came as a stranger to this place. Fought for it, schemed for it, dreamed for it, invested my best years in ii. But I've a confession make - I'm lonely here. There are no - poets here. Oh yes, one or two. There's always one or two - but - mostly - only makers of money. If I want to feel alive, emotionally charged, inter-bloody-lectually stimulated, I have to escape to the bleedin' metropolis ... Makers of money ... Lonely."

 

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THE MISTRESS (1988)

"Virtue, Jessica? Let me tell you about virtue and the ease with which one lies feeling no guilt whatsoever. Let me tell you about virtue and the ease with which one is devious and expects virtue from others. Let me tell you about the virtuous heart that can harden while the rest remains soft, sweet and tender- because let there be no misunderstanding, Babushka is all these things. A fine and lovely and virtuous person, except in this one respect: she lies to her good friend with the talent of a sublime actress. Her good friend whom she loves - and let there be no misunderstanding about that either, her good friend can ask her life of her but - when she has her good friend's husband in her arms, on her lips and between those ample, fleshy thighs her good friend is banished from her thoughts. They no longer exist for each other. Now, ask her how. How, Sam, how can this be?"

 

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LADY OTHELLO (1987)

"Some people hate them, you know. Lovers. Nothing drives them madder than to see two people kissing. Love's an affront. You ever thought about that? Love's an emotion so charged and pure that it can attract a pure and charged hatred. That's why I don't think lovers should love in public. Some people have murder in their eyes when they see lovers, but somewhere out there is a person so disappointed with their life, so full of self-contempt, they're carrying murder in their pocket. A gun to blow away lips that were blowing kisses. (Imitates a gun) Pyeach! Pyeach! 'Put that tongue back in your mouth, lover!' Pyeach! Pyeach! 'Put them arms down by your sides, lover!' Pyeach! Pyeach! 'Wipe that shine from your eyes, lover! Who gave you the right to be happy when I'm not?' Pyeach! Pyeach! So drink up, lovers. Here you can hold hands, gaze at each other, touch and blow kisses. In my restaurant you're safe. Drink!"

 

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LITTLE OLD LADY (1987)

"I suppose he's imagining he's exercising his democratic rights. Well let me tell you, sir, if you'll forgive me lecturing you, sir, and I know I'm only a foolish old woman with everything finished and failed behind me, and you're a splendid young man with everything brave and shining ahead of him, let me tell you - democratic rights have their limitations. They have! Your democratic rights are limited by our democratic rights. And it's our democratic right not to have to breathe in the foul smoke of your cigarette or run the risk of going up in flames. What do you say to that?"

 

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SHOESHINE (1987)

"Let me see if I understand you correctly. You think I should live on dole money which is less than I might earn from shining shoes because shining shoes is more humiliating than collecting dole money? (pause) It's not always easy to respect the intelligence of those who are near and dear to you."

 

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BADENHEIM 1939 (1987)

"Well! If the coaches are so dirty it must mean that we have not far to go."

 

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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BETTY LEMON (1986)

"Was I ever really a socialist? I called myself one in those days because in those days there was no other name for what I believed. But- ssssh! Don't let on. I never joined! Wasn't a joiner. Couldn't accept majority decisions. Never really liked the majority. Not like Sir James. He loved them. We once went on a goodwill mission to East Germany. Visited a small industrial town. Can't remember the name but I'!! never forget the scene. The local councillors gave us tea. Five of them neatly dressed in suits of lifeless greys and browns and blues on one side of a long table, Sir James and Lady Betty Lemon from Dalston Junction with their interpreter on the other side, and little sandwiches in between, all set in a clean, polished, bleak room with photos of grim men on the cream walls. And! remember asking: "Why are all your left-wing leaders looking to the right?" No one thought that funny."

 

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WHEN GOD WANTED A SON (1986)

"Ahhhhh! No! Tell him to go! Do you hear how he comes with offence? Look at him. He walks into everyone's room that way, as though he were born there, as though he can say anything anywhere anytime. We agreed. You promised. My home. My decisions. My privacy. Not everybody wants you around. Not everybody thinks God chose you to be their neighbour. Tell him to go. Tell him I can't bear anything about him - his arrogance, his opinions, his irreverence. No reverence for anything, only what he thinks, what he wants, what he believes. Him! Him! Him! Don't laugh at me. Do you hear his laughter? Do you hear his superior laughter? So superior, so confident, so happy, so eager, so interested, so talkative, so fucking full of his own fucking self..."

 

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YARDSALE (1983)

"And you should have seen him in bed. Or rather you shouldn't have seen him in bed. I'm sorry lever saw him in bed. "Tonight's the night" he'd announce. Subtly. "Faw what, honey?" I used to put on a shy, southern drawl and pretend! didn't know what he was on about. "What night's this, sugar plum? You all surely don't mean - oh my, Sheldon, there's no stopping you I do declare." And then he'd leap onto the bed in his altogether and start jumping up and down so's his shlong and spheroids flip-flapped about his thighs and I'd have to join him and bounce alongside of him so's my titties went flip-flap too and we made such a right old slap-smacking sound that I'm certain all the neighbours could hear. Sensuality, Maxie? He had the sensuality of a rhino stuck in mud, of a crocodile with false teeth, of a baboon full of fleas, a crab, a snail, a hyena, a pterodactyl! And all because he said he loved me. What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do, what? Tell me, what? What, what, what?"

 

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CINDERS (1983)

"Aggie, you're as plain as a bloody pikestaff but in bed you're mercurial, anyone ever tell you? She's here, she's there, she's every bloody where. Full of surprises! Never know where she's coming from next. Not like my first Earl's Court experience. Imagine! My Jewish dad with his brilliant Jewish son, all ready and bright enough to be a doctor but look - no legs! Still, never mind, he has a mind has this son. With philosophic bent. Reads Plato, Spinoza, Hegel, Kant - but can't get cunt! So, 'dad' I say, 'help! I'll get the degrees, you find a way to ease this tumescent, circumcised spectre I see before me, its handle towards my hand'. 'Son' he says, 'my heart is heavy'. You know how Jewish fathers are - heavy. Heavy and sad with this burden God's given them. So Dad buys a magazine, finds an address on the Earl's Court Road, manoeuvres son and wheelchair down steps, tells this overworked sexual therapist he'll call back in an hour, and leaves me there ... can you imagine?"

 

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FOUR PORTRAITS - OF MOTHERS (1982)

"Me a prisoner? Never! Those poor men, tied to their jobs, tied to their hours, caught in a rush to a top they'll never reach in a thousand years - they're the prisoners, they're the slaves! But not me! I enjoy the freedom of my home too much ...Yes, I have three of them, and if it wasn't so tiring and costly and boring to be married to a woman who was always fat and pregnant I'd have a dozen of them! Love them! Everything about them. I loved carrying them, giving birth to them, suckling them. I loved changing their smelly nappies, washing their smelly bums with smelly oils, powdering their fat bodies with smelly powders-all of it! Every smelly second of it! It's what I always wanted to do, what I still want to do, and what I'm supremely equipped to do. So just let anyone dare bully me into thinking it's me who's the prisoner."

 

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ANNIE WOBBLER (1982)

"It began with poetry. Why is it that a certain selection of words arranged in a certain way explode in you and yet, change one word, one syllable and there's not even a damp spark? I keep getting this urge, you see, to write poetry. It's a very strong urge and I become filled with a special kind of... kind of... how can it be described? A kind of incorporeal expectation - a bit like being on heat. And out it comes, this poetry, this selection of words and images I think is poetry. And it's shit. And a pain. Such a pain. You've no idea the pain it is to begin with this heat, this fever, this sense that an astonishing assembly is about to take place and all that assembles is shit!"

 

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BREAKFAST (1981)

"And that's what Munich was like. Everything happened in it. And you know who I met one day? As I was coming out from the theatre buying my tickets, you know who I bumped into? Guess. Guess ... Bertolt Brecht! Yes! And after we said sorry for bumping into each other, I said 'You're Bertolt Brecht, aren't you?' And he said 'Sometimes! Sometimes I'm Bertolt Brecht.' So I asked him 'Are you Bertolt Brecht today?' And he said 'It depends who I meet!' So I said 'Herr Brecht, my name is Anton Mendelssohn, I run a little secondhand books hop on the Kaiserstrasse, I'm a great admirer of your work.' And he smiled at me and he said 'Then, today I'm Bertolt Brecht!"

 

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SULLIED HAND (1981)

"DREAMER! I've heard them before. These plans. I have heard them. Before! Up to here! A machine to press the slimy remnants of soap into new bars. An electric motor to re-sharpen old razor blades. A thumbscrew for squeezing out the last of the toothpaste. All those best laid schemes and dreams and calculations, those wild speculations, those demented hopes, those madman's addings and multiplications, those pathetic promises, those paper riches. Paper riches! Paper riches!"

 

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PHOENIX (1980)

"Welcome! It's nice to have you come and look after us again. We Danes are a people crippled with guilts. We feel guilty for having what the Third World hasn't, our men feel guilty for not being women, our professors fee! guilty for not being workers, our actors feel guilty for not being the characters they portray, in fact we all feel guilty for not being each other! The English, on the other hand, who 'ye been around for so long without interruption feel guilty for nothing. So, it's good to have you with us. Welcome!"

 

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CARITAS (1980)

"It's my thoughts, father, I can't put my thoughts on him. I see him on the cross, I see that sweet face sufferin', I see that poor body hangin' limp on its nails, an' I feel the pain here an' here an' here an' here an' here, an' I stand with my back to the wall, my arms outstretched, my eyes closed, an' I cry out, 'Lord Jesus, sweet Lord, I'm with you, here I stand, I feel the pain, I'm with you.' An' then, an' then -oh forgive me, father, forgive me! - but as I stand, my arms outstretched, my eyes closed - I think new thoughts which I can't deny 'cos, oh, they're sweet, so sweet. I'm naked. My body open to the sky, my skin in the grass, sun on my breasts. I feel cool winds bring me the smell of hawthorn an' the wild mint. An' I see the birds sweep high an' singin'. An', oh, those clouds, those glorious rollin' shapes, that sweet scent, that soft air- thaas not the devil's forms, I say. Forgive me, father, but I say thaas never the devil's forms. An' I'm torn between shame an' delirium. The spring, father, the spring! L am crucified upon the spring!"

 

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VOICES ON THE WIND (1980)

"That taught me. Not everyone can take help, you see. You need grace. Accepting help is a grace. So I had to learn how to use my magic in a way that no one knew, in a way that didn't confuse them or put them under obligation. Dangerous thing, magic. Gave me many a sleepless night, I can tell you. And then I began to get lonely. Surely, I thought, there must be others like me in this world? I can't be the only one who's blessed with this power. What's so special about me? You should have seen the stupid things I did with it- picked piles of sweets off apple trees then couldn't eat them. And when I tried to give them away they accused me of stealing. Yes! Sounds easy, magic, but it isn't, believe me. Lonely. So I began to look. Now, how does one magic person look for another person of magic?"

 

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ONE MORE RIDE ON THE MERRY-GO-ROUND (1978)

"So there it is! We simply don't need as many people as we once did in order to run a nation of6o million. Terrible! But it seems to be a fact. Technology has drained the need for labour and with it has drained away the work ethic. And if! were younger I'd seek out my fellow men and think up new work for us to do, gaily, together. But I'm not younger. I'm not old but I'm older than I'm younger, and though I love life I'm not too impressed with the living. Man's goodness cheers me too little to remain un-tormented by his stupidity."

 

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LOVE LETTERS ON BLUE PAPER (1976)

"What about the arguments we had? We had our first rows over our first garden. What shape it should be, what should grow in it, which way it should face. You would insist the sun came up in one place while I knew darn well it came up in another. So what did we do? Daft buggers, we set the alarm to get up before sunrise. You were wrong of course. You 'ye no idea how important it was to me to have been right about that. It was my first landmark. Gave me great confidence that did."

 

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SHYLOCK (1976)

"No, no, NO! I will not have it. I do not want apologies for my humanity. Plead for me no special pleas. I will not have my humanity mocked and apologised for. If I am unexceptionally like any man then I need no exceptional portraiture. I merit no special pleas, no special cautions, no special gratitudes. My humanity is my right, not your bestowed and gracious privilege."

 

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THE WEDDING FEAST (1974)

"Then I'll leave, with a joke about the wedding bed which'!! make them roar with laughter, and then I'll kiss the bride, gently, on the forehead, and I know how they'll all look at me because it's a beautiful gesture, in the right proportion, at the correct moment, everything correct, most important. For to every action is a time and place and they see that I know that. And then, in the factory, next week, the efficient industrialist. Kindly but firm. Not the place to remember weddings and kisses. Work! The world must turn on. Men must be fed, houses built, shoes cut out and sewn up. Two sides! They'll see two sides of me and when they're old they'll tell their children and I'll be spoken of with affection, honoured, remembered."

 

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THE JOURNALISTS (1972)

"Write a book? Ha! I can hardly assemble words for these little bits of so-called foreign commentary. Conveyor-belt work, harsh, destructive, written in a hurry. I'm sick of first class travel and first class hotels and the quick friendships with people about whom one has finally to write something unsympathetic. Sometimes I think I'm in journalism because I'm unfit for anything else. A book? I'd like to resign."

 

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THE FRIENDS (1970)

"Esther's dying, Macey. We're growing old bit by bit. Every word is a second, passing. It'll never return, never. That's so absolute. I shall never be young again. I shall never laugh the same way again. I shall never love for the first time again, never discover my first sight of the sea, nor climb my first mountain, nor stumble across literature, never,~ I'll reach out to recapture or remember - but the first ecstasy of all things? Never again. So, it's important. I must know. What do I really love? What do I dare say I despise?"

 

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THE OLD ONES (1970)

"Violence! Violence .... Everyone's talking about violence- a big mystery! What causes it! Whisper, whisper, whisper, pssssss! Why don't they ask me? Ask me, I'll tell them... They've never heard of cultural intimidation? I'm not of course referring to your so-called 'magnificent primitive working man' - we all know nothing can intimidate him. I'm referring to the men of real inferiority, men who suspect their own stupidity. That's where violence comes from. The anger of self-knowledge. Self-knowledge that he's a pig and then - everything intimidates him: a tone of voice, a way of dressing, a passion for literature, a passion for music, for anything! He hates it! One little speck of colour on a man's personality unleashes such venom, such venom..."

 

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THEIR VERY OWN AND GOLDEN CITY (1966)

"Do you know what depresses me? Men need leaders, that's what depresses me. They'll wait another twenty years and then another leader will come along and they'll build another city. That's all. Patchwork! Bits and pieces of patchwork. Six cities, twelve cities, what difference. Oases in the desert, that the sun dries up ...My lifelong boys! My lifelong boys? Prefects! That's all; the Labour movement provides prefects to guard other men's principles for living. ..They need them, we supply them. I don't suppose there's such a thing as democracy, really, only a democratic way of manipulating power. And equality? None of that either, only a gracious way of accepting inequality."

 

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THE FOUR SEASONS (1965)

"Do you think when the millennium comes there won't be lovers who grow weary of their sad girls, or that wives won't weep over empty beds? Even when Jerusalem is built friends will grow apart and mothers will mourn their sons growing old. You want me to feel for starving children? I feel for them. You want me to protest at wars that goon in the mountains? I protest. But the heart has its private aches. You must allow the heart its private aches. Not all the good great causes in this world can stop me crying for a passing love."

 

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THE NOTTINGHAM CAPTAIN (1962)

"You call these men a mob, desperate, dangerous and ignorant; and seem to think that the only way to quiet them is to lop off a few of their superfluous heads. But even a mob may be better reduced to reason by a mixture of conciliation and firmness than by additional irritation and redoubled penalties. Are we aware of our obligations to a mob? It is the mob that labour in your fields and serve in your houses, that man your navy, and recruit your army, that have enabled you to defy all the world, and can also defy you when neglect and calamity have driven them to despair."

 

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CHIPS WITH EVERYTHING (1962)

"It goes right through us, Thompson. Nothing you can do will change that. We listen but we do not hear, we befriend but do not touch you, we applaud but do not act - to tolerate is to ignore. What did you expect, praise from the boys? Devotion from your mates? Your mates are morons, Thompson, morons. At the slightest hint from us they will disown you. Or perhaps you wanted a court martial? Too expensive, boy. Jankers? That's for the yobs. You, we shall make an officer, as we promised. ... You can't fight us from the outside. Relent, boy, at least we understand long sentences."

 

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MENACE (1961)

"Why can't you leave? What is there that stops you leaving? You know how it'll end, you know that we'll row and cut each other to pieces, so what holds you? Not this room, there's nothing beautiful about this room, there's no rest here. Not me, there's nothing beautiful about me. Does it ever occur to you how unbeautiful you are? Have you ever known a generation to be as unbeautiful and mediocre as we are? Self-conscious, timid, faceless - content with little, little, little bits of experience. What is the biggest thing you've ever done in your life? Look back, Harriet, tell me, what is the grandest, most glorious thing you've ever done?"

 

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CHICKEN SOUP WITH BARLEY (1958)

"... All my life I worked with a party that meant glory and freedom and brotherhood. You want me to give it up now? You want me to move to Hendon and forget who lam? If the electrician who comes to mend my fuse blows it instead, so I should stop having electricity? I should cut off my light? Socialism is my light, can you understand that? A way of life. A man can be beautiful. I hate ugly people - I can't bear meanness and fighting and jealousy - I've got to have light. I'm a simple person, Ronnie, and I've got to have light and love."

 

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ROOTS (1959)


"Do you think we really count? You don' wanna take any notice of what them ole papers say about the workers bein' all-important these days - that's all squit! 'Cos we aren't. Do you think when the really talented people in the country get to work they get to work for us? Hell if they do? Do you think they don't know we 'ont make the effort? The writers don't write thinkin' we can understand, nor the painters don't paint expectin' us to be interested - that they don't, nor don't the composers give out music thinkin' we can appreciate it. 'Blust,' they say, 'the masses is too stupid for us to come down to them. Blust,' they say, 'if they don't make no effort why should we bother?" So you know who come along? The slop singers and the pop writers and the film makers and the women's magazines and the tabloid papers and the picture-strip love stories - thaas who come along, and you don't hey to make no effort for them, it come easy ... The whole stinkin' commercial world insults us and we don't care a damn. Well Ronnie's right - it's our own bloody fault. We want the third-rate - we got it!"

 

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I'M TALKING ABOUT JERUSALEM (1960)

"What do you think lam, Ronnie? You think I'm an artist's craftsman? Nothing of the sort. A designer? Not even that. Designers are ten a penny. I don't mind Ronnie -believe me I don't, (But he does.) I've reached the point where I can face the fact that I'm not a prophet. Once I had - I don't know- a - a moment of vision, and I yelled at your Aunt Esther that I was a prophet. A prophet! Poor woman, I don't think she understood. All I meant was! was a sort of spokesman. That's all. But it passed. Look, I'm a bright boy. There aren't many flies on me and when I was younger I was even brighter. I was interested and alive to everything, history, anthropology, philosophy, architecture - I had ideas. But not now. Not now Ronnie. I don't know. it's sort of sad this what I'm saying, it's a sad time for both of us, Ada and me, sad, and yet - you know-it's not all that bad. We came here, we worked hard, we've loved every minute of it and we're still young..."

 

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THE KITCHEN (1957)

"... now listen to this, he says 'Did you go on that peace march yesterday?' So I says, yes, I did go on that peace march yesterday. So then he turns round to me and he says, 'You know what? A bomb should have been dropped on the lot of them! It's a pity', he says, 'that they had children with them 'cos a bomb should have been dropped on the lot!' And you know what was upsetting him? The march was holding up the traffic, the buses couldn't move so fast ... And you should have seen the hate in his eyes, as if I'd murdered his child..."

 

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www.doollee.com comprises a comprehensive online searchable database for plays written in English since the production of Look back In Anger in 1956. Each play listing contains a playwright biography, synopsis, cast size, creative and production team for the premiere production, date and location of the first performance and much more.doollee.com not only defines the Worlds theatrical repertoire for the first time but also aims to revitalise that repertoire by reintroducing many lost scripts and providing a gateway for locating and clearing rights for a very large number existing scripts. We are delighted to receive information from users where our own research has been unable to locate details on the holder of a play's rights.doollee.com contains a comprehensive listing for each new play written in English produced by professional theatre companies, venues, festivals, commercial producers and once-off-producers from 1956 to the present. It includes adaptations, translations and new versions. The database also includes those plays produced by fringe (unsubsidised) companies and by semi-professional organisations, where the work is deemed to be of particular significance to the repertoire. Thus you will get help with playwright, dramatist, plays, biography, theatres, agent, synopses, cast sizes, production, published, dates, database, research.