“Denial” Arnold Wesker’s play addressing false memories

London, England

Arnold Wesker at the Durham Book Festival, 24 ...

Image via Wikipedia

The King’s Head Theatre will feature several premieres celebrating playwright Sir Arnold Wesker’s 80th birthday.

Opening the season will be the London premiere of Wesker’s false memory play Denial (May 15-June 19)

“At what point does natural physical affection between parent and child become something more sinister? And if an adult suddenly ‘remembers’ that a loved parent abused them years earlier, can the memory be trusted?

Arnold Wesker’s provocative drama exploring false memory syndrome was first seen at the Bristol Old Vic in 2000 and now gets it’s London premiere directed by King’s Head Theatre artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher.

This promises to be a taut and unsettling production about the dangerous recesses of the human mind and the devastating effect of a daughter’s ‘recovered memories’ on an apparently happy family.

Arnold Wesker is the author of 42 plays including The Kitchen and Chicken Soup with Barley. This production of Denial is part of a season to celebrate Wesker’s 80th birthday which will also include the opera Caritas and The Wesker Trilogy.

“The play is brave, honest and urgent” The Guardian

“One of Wesker’s most gripping and undogmatic plays” The Sunday Times

Thoughts from the playright:

“The story behind DENIAL is this.  One day someone from my past rang to tell me he had a story which he thought would made a good play: Something awful that had happened to his friends.  I sighed.  Writers are frequently confronted by people telling them they have good ideas for a play.  Usually they are right, it is just that their stories are rarely stories that ‘speak’ to the writer approached.  But within minutes of hearing what had happened to his friends I knew that this story was ‘speaking’ to me. …
“This material, about his friends’ daughter who had turned on them with dreadful, unfounded accusations of sexual abuse when she was a child was more than a story about a painful, domestic injustice; it was about the theme of manipulation – the therapist as manipulator. …

Click hereto read the playwright Arnold Wesker’s thoughts on Denial.


Leave a comment


  1. Barry Fox

     /  05/15/2017

    I treid to find Wesker’s thoughts on Denial but the link you offer didn’t work.



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