Look Back in Anger

Introduction

Look Back in Anger (1956) is a realist play written by John Osborne. It focuses on the life and marital struggles of an intelligent and educated but disaffected young man of working-class origin, Jimmy Porter, and his equally competent yet impassive upper-middle-class wife Alison. The supporting characters include Cliff Lewis, an amiable Welsh lodger who attempts to keep the peace, and Helena Charles, Alison's snobbish friend.[2][3][4]

Osborne drew inspiration from his personal life and failing marriage with Pamela Lane while writing Look Back in Anger, which was his first successful outing as a playwright. The play spawned the term "angry young men" to describe Osborne and those of his generation who employed the harshness of realism in the theatre in contrast to the more escapist theatre that characterized the previous generation.[5]

The play was received favorably in the theatre community becoming an enormous commercial success, transferring to the West End and Broadway, and even touring to Moscow. It is credited to have turned Osborne from a struggling playwright into a wealthy and famous personality, and also won him the Evening Standard Drama Award as the most promising playwright of 1956. The play was adapted into a motion picture of the same name by Tony Richardson, starring Richard Burton and Mary Ure, which was released in 1959. Film production credited circa 1958.[6][7]


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