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Look Back in Anger (Penguin Plays) von John…
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Look Back in Anger (Penguin Plays) (1982. Auflage)

von John Osborne (Autor)

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
1,1811312,958 (3.49)39
In 1956 John Osborne'sLook Back in Angerchanged the course of English theatre. 'Look Back in Anger presents post-war youth as it really is. To have done this at all would be a significant achievement; to have done it in a first play is a minor miracle. All the qualities are there, qualities one had despaired of ever seeing on stage - the drift towards anarchy, the instinctive leftishness, the automatic rejection of "official" attitudes, the surrealist sense of humour... the casual promiscuity, the sense of lacking a crusade worth fighting for and, underlying all these, the determinationthat no one who dies shall go unmourned.' Kenneth Tynan,Observer, 13 May 1956'Look Back in Anger... has its inarguable importance as the beginning of a revolution in the British theatre, and as the central and most immediately influential expression of the mood of its time, the mood of the "angry young man".' John Russell Taylor… (mehr)
Mitglied:AminBoussif
Titel:Look Back in Anger (Penguin Plays)
Autoren:John Osborne (Autor)
Info:Penguin Books (1982), Edition: Reissue, 96 pages
Sammlungen:Deine Bibliothek
Bewertung:***
Tags:Keine

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"Why don't we have a little game? Let's pretend that we're human beings, and that we're actually alive."

The setting for 'Look Back in Anger' is an attic flat in a large Midland town in the mid-1950's, the home of Jimmy Porter and his wife Alison. Jimmy and Alison share their flat with Cliff Lewis, a young working-class man who as well as being Jimmy's best friend is also in business with him, running a sweet stall. Cliff and Jimmy both come from working-class backgrounds, though Jimmy has had more education than Cliff whilst Alison comes from a more prominent family, a fact that Jimmy clearly resents.

'Look Back in Anger' is regarded by many as saving British theatre as it brought a realism to it, the first of what today is classed as a 'kitchen drama' it also introduced the concept of 'angry young men' struggling in dark post-War Britain.

Jimmy is egotistical, a dreamer but he mainly a pretty dislikeable character. Osborne uses him as a vehicle to shine a light on many of the societal issues of the day; Religion, class, the rise and fall of the British Empire and in particular the loss of childhood. Jimmy lost his father at a young age and wants the others around him to share in his pain.

The play may be a little dated today but this is still a powerful piece of writing making this book well worth a read and at roughly 100 pages long its also a quick one. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Dec 31, 2021 |
Squalid, sketchy, melodramatic, charmless, misanthropic, abrasive, abusive, self-pitying… all but undeserving, frankly, of a proper review. Look Back in Anger has a place in history as the play that injected a bit of vinegar into a stale British theatre scene, but it's so acidic it quickly eats itself up. I can see how it would have seemed daring and scandalous back in the day, but now? It's a bit too Jeremy Kyle. It's a shell so brittle it's long since been reduced to powder.

It's a story of a petty, malicious man-child, convinced of his own stunted greatness, who cajoles two dim females into abusive, co-dependent relationships with him. I say 'story', but in truth it's poor theatre: it's just an unreflective, obnoxious rant with no dynamic stage movement, plot, theme or character development. Its successful existence alongside the genuine American playwrights who emerged in the immediate post-war era (Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams) is shaming to British culture.

It's immensely mean-spirited, without any redeeming qualities. It's natural for any reader of this review to assume my negative reaction derives from the sickening, abusive nature of the relationships represented within the play's pages, but once I began to accept this and swallow it (reluctantly), I was surprised at the lack of actual artistry or dramatic competence. I find it hilarious that around the same time John Osborne was inflicting this vindictive, misogynistic trash on the British theatre scene, Shelagh Delaney was putting him to shame with her better-constructed, meritorious kitchen-sink play A Taste of Honey.

Look Back in Anger leaves a sour taste; not sour like daring theatre, but sour like toxic drain cleaner. Jimmy, the protagonist, and his two female co-dependents (they're not victims) deserve all they get. I believe people have much more agency in these situations than they claim, and while those readers who tend to keep their heads in the clouds will be reluctant to accept that some people actually behave like this, a quick glance at Osborne's bitter, acidic biography shows it's true. Such a perusal provides an inadvertent benefit to an otherwise valueless play: it's well to remember that men and women like this do really exist in the world. I don't want to read about them in a play, though, particularly one that takes their side. On the contrary, I'd like to give them the widest berth possible. ( )
1 abstimmen MikeFutcher | Aug 18, 2021 |
Nah..... ( )
  scottcholstad | Jan 27, 2020 |
Interesting more as a glimpse into the English mind at a particular time than as drama. "Little squirrels?" Geesh. ( )
  Stubb | Aug 28, 2018 |
Includes line drawings [by the playwright?] ( )
  deckla | Aug 20, 2018 |
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AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Osborne, JohnHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Westerling, AntyÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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MY FATHER
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The Porters' one-room flat in a large Midland town.
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In 1956 John Osborne'sLook Back in Angerchanged the course of English theatre. 'Look Back in Anger presents post-war youth as it really is. To have done this at all would be a significant achievement; to have done it in a first play is a minor miracle. All the qualities are there, qualities one had despaired of ever seeing on stage - the drift towards anarchy, the instinctive leftishness, the automatic rejection of "official" attitudes, the surrealist sense of humour... the casual promiscuity, the sense of lacking a crusade worth fighting for and, underlying all these, the determinationthat no one who dies shall go unmourned.' Kenneth Tynan,Observer, 13 May 1956'Look Back in Anger... has its inarguable importance as the beginning of a revolution in the British theatre, and as the central and most immediately influential expression of the mood of its time, the mood of the "angry young man".' John Russell Taylor

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