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Monday 27 January 2020

Renowned playwright Sir Arnold Wesker dies aged 83

HAY ON WYE, WALES - MAY 29: Playright Arnold Wesker poses for a portrait at
HAY ON WYE, WALES - MAY 29: Playright Arnold Wesker poses for a portrait at "The Guardian Hay Festival 2004" held at Hay on Wye on May 29, 2004 in Wales, Great Britain. The festival runs until June 6. (Photo by Christopher Jackson/Getty Images)

The prolific British playwright Sir Arnold Wesker has died aged 83, according to his family.

The London-born writer penned scores of plays, several books and a collection of poems.

He was best-known for his trilogy of plays Chicken Soup With Barley, Roots, and I'm Talking About Jerusalem, created in the late 1950s, and his 1962 work Chips With Everything.

Over a career that spanned five decades Wesker achieved global recognition, with some of his plays translated into 20 languages. Copies of his works sold in the hundreds of thousands.

He was knighted in the 2006 New Year's Honours list and released his last work, The Rocking Horse, in 2007.

At the time of his 70th birthday, Wesker wrote: "And though, like most writers, I fear dying before I write that one masterpiece for which I'll be remembered, yet I look at the long row of published work that I keep before me on my desk and I think, not bad, Wesker, not bad."

Wesker's granddaughter, Leanne Courvoisier , revealed the playwright's passing on twitter. "There was a monkey called Arnold Wesker, who died. RIP grandad."

Comedienne and actress Jenny Eclair tweeted: "Met Arnold Wesker at hay lit fest many years ago - he approved of my filth - which was lovely."

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