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A Portrait of Arnold Wesker from A to W

Chiara Montenero

Oberon Books


“An unusual portrait…you really feel as if you have sat in on discussions with Arnold Wesker… highly entertaining…should send readers back to the plays, novel and other work of Arnold Wesker with renewed enthusiasm.” –British Theatre Guide

Ambivalences is fascinating… there is plenty here for students of late 20th century drama and/or those who want to write plays.” –The Stage


Ambivalences: A Portrait of Arnold Wesker from A to W is a document of Arnold Wesker in conversation with the Italian academic Chiara Montenero. In their wide-ranging discussions, Wesker and Montenero address his ideas on art and drama with a particular focus on some of his most enduring characters. Betraying his reputation as theatre’s ‘perennial outsider’, Ambivalences finds Wesker in generous and engaging form, offering a rich and unique insight into the mind of one of the key figures in 20th-century drama.


Chiara Montenero, born Rome 1956, achieved her bachelor’s degree in Modern Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ with a thesis on Arnold Wesker, entitled Arnold Wesker, la trilogia e il centro 42 (Arnold Wesker, The Trilogy and Centre 42). As a journalist she has written for newspapers including Cahiers d’Art, Il Giornale, La Stampa, Mercedes Magazine andInvestire,and currently contributes to the Art, Culture and Entertainment section of the daily newspaper Il Tempo. She is the author of two collections of poetry, Angeli inascensore (Marsilio Editori, 1996) and Fragilità indistruttibili (Klimerik, 2009). Her screenplay adaptation of her short story, Noiseless Hotel, appeared on the Sky Culture channel in July 2010.


Arnold Wesker F.R.S.L was knighted in 2006 for ‘services to drama’. He has written over forty-three plays, two opera libretti, various mechanical adaptations; four volumes of short stories, a children’s book, and a novel; two volumes of essays, an autobiography, a diary, and a book on journalism; and recently his first volume of poetry. His plays have been produced in cities from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo, from Paris to Moscow, from Montreal to Zurich, and The Kitchen – his most performed play has been performed yearly somewhere or other around the world for the last fifty years, and recently was revived by The National Theatre in 2011.


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