Chicken Soup With Barley is Arnold Wesker’s epic play that spans 20 years in the life of an East End Jewish family. Directed by the Royal Court’s Artistic Director Dominic Cooke (Clybourne Park, Aunt Dan And Lemon, Wig Out!), the play stars Samantha Spiro.

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. 20 years on, in 1956, as rumours spread of Hungarian revolution, the cup is empty.

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

A moving and important state of the nation play capturing the loss of idealism and the collapse of faith.

Spiro won a Laurence Olivier Award for her most recent stage outing in Hello, Dolly! at the Regent’s Park Open Air theatre. Her other credits include The Family Plays, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night and Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle And Dick at the National theatre. She has appeared on screen in Terry Johnson’s TV adaptation Cor, Blimey!, recent BBC comedy Grandma’s House, Cold Feet and The Bill.

For more about Chicken Soup With Barley at the Royal Court read the First Night Feature or our Q&A with Ilan Goodman.

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