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The Entertainer

The Entertainer
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: John Osborne
Publisher: Dramatic Publishing
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 100
Pub. Date: 1957
ISBN-10: 0871296799
ISBN-13: 9780871296795

About the Play:

The Entertainer was named by the Royal National Theatre of Britain as one of the best 100 plays of the 20th century.

The Entertainer is a full-length drama by John Osborne. A seedy London music-hall performer's terrible act is contrasted with scenes from his family life.

The Entertainer is set in 1957 and introduces us to a failing music hall comedian, Archie Rice, and his family; father Billy, daughter Jean, wife Phoebe and son Frank, along with his brother Bill and Jean's fiancé, Graham. Set during the time of the Suez Crisis, Archie's son Mick is away at war and the play charts the expectations of the family, preparing for him to arrive home safe and well, mirroring at times the feelings of many families today who have children serving with the forces away from home. The New York Times critic describes the central character, brilliantly played in London and on Broadway by Sir Laurence Olivier, as "...a glib, cheap, unscrupulous actor and promoter who is going down for the last time, dragging everyone else down with him." The play, and vaudeville interludes, give advanced groups an exciting opportunity.

The Entertainer was first staged in 1957 only eleven months after the opening of Look Back in Anger, secured John Osborne’s reputation, and has become a classic of 20th century drama.

Cast: 2 women, 5 men

What people say:

"The rancid, dead-accurate domestic dialogue is a joy, with clichés dropping like bats from the ceiling... the play becomes a flamboyant coronach for England's lost greatness, enshrining one of the great characters in modern drama." — The Daily Telegraph

"Like all Osborne's best work, this is a play about personal failure, individual desolation, the frustration of a community. One of the reasons why Osborne changed the face of English theatre is that he made passionate personal drama out of a national malaise." — The Sunday Times

About the Playwright:

John Osborne (1929 – 1994) was an English playwright, screenwriter, actor and critic of the Establishment. Before becoming a playwright he worked as a journalist, assistant stage manager and repertory theatre actor. Seeing an advertisement for new plays in The Stage in 1956, he submitted Look Back in Anger. Not only was the play produced, but it was to become considered as the turning point in post-war British theatre. His protagonist, Jimmy Porter, captured the rebelliousness of an entire post-war generation of "angry young men". His other plays include The Entertainer and Dejavu, which returns to the characters of Look Back in Anger, over thirty years later. Both Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer were adapted for film, and in 1963 Osborne won an Academy Award for his screenplay for Tom Jones.

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