John Osborne: Look Back in Anger

(1941 words)
  • Andrew Wyllie (University of the West of England)

Look Back in Anger (1956) is by far the most famous of John Osborne\'s plays. It was the foundational work of the genre for which the term “kitchen-sink drama” was coined. The gritty realism of its setting represented a revolution in the British theatre, one which gave to the play when it was first produced a political and cultural significance which it is hard to comprehend nearly 50 years later. The play was perceived as giving voice to a frustrated and politically and culturally disenfranchised constituency – the lower-middle-class, first-generation graduates whose literary heroes, including Osborne, became known as the Angry Young Men

The play describes 1950s life in an East Midlands bed-sitting room among …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Wyllie, Andrew. "Look Back in Anger". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001
[, accessed 27 November 2015.]

Related Groups

  1. Angry Young Men