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Look Back in Anger

Look Back in Anger
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: John Osborne
Publisher: Dramatic Publishing
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 74
Pub. Date: 1987
ISBN-10: 087129222X
ISBN-13: 9780871292223

About the Play:

Look Back in Anger was named by the Royal National Theatre of Britain as one of the best 100 plays of the 20th century.

Look Back in Anger is a full-length drama by John Osborne that changed the course of English theatre. A discontented working-class Englishman rails against the upper-middle-class wife he lives with in a cramped flat, and he eventually begins an affair with her equally haughty best friend. Set in the UK at the dawn of the 1960's social unrest, this savage morality tale spawned the phrase "angry young man."

Jimmy Porter barely ekes out a living running a candy stall by day and playing jazz trumpet by night. He looks back because he has so little incentive to look ahead. Although he usually takes his frustrations out on his emotionless wife, Jimmy's scathing tongue and self-loathing seems destined to destroy everything. The words pour out of him, a flood of satire and invective. The words are often cruel, but they are also vibrant and colourful. They sting the characters of the play and the audience, too. In Jimmy Porter's boiling resentment at not being able to find himself in his own generation, he makes life impossible for those he most cherishes. He browbeats his flatmate, terrorizes his wife, and is not above sleeping with her best friend-who loathes Jimmy almost as much as he loathes himself. Yet this working-class Hamlet, the original Angry Young Man, is one of the most mesmerizing characters ever to burst onto a stage, a malevolently vital, volcanically articulate internal exile in the dreary, dreaming Siberia of postwar England. Savagely, sadly, and always impolitely, Look Back in Anger compels readers and audiences to acknowledge the hidden currents of rottenness and rage in what used to be called "the good life."

Look Back in Anger was first produced in 1956 and launched a revolution in the English theater.

Cast: 2 women, 3 men

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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