Look Back in Anger

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Look Back in Anger is a play by English playwright, screenwriter, actor and critic of the Establishment John Osborne (1929-1994) [1]. An enormously influential play, widely hailed as the start of the new realism in British theatre, it was originally produced at London’s Royal Court Theatre in 1956.

Published by Faber and Faber, 1957.

Performance history in South Africa

1957: First produced in South Africa by Leonard Schach for the Cockpit Players at the Hofmeyr Theatre in November 1957 with Leon Gluckman, Nigel Hawthorne, Felicity Bosman, Elspeth Bryce, Michael Drin. Decor by Bruce Palmer. Staged only a year after its premiere in England.

1957: Taubie Kushlick put it on at the Brooke Theatre in October 1957 with British actor Alan Dobie as Jimmy.

196*: Brian Brooke Company, mid-1960s.

1969: Also, interestingly enough, it was the first play to be produced by TECON in 1969?*, giving its central message another spin.

1973: Presented by the Department of English, University of Durban-Westville, at the Asoka Theatre, directed by Devi Bughwan and Nigel Bell, from 28 August 1973.

1977: Presented at the Rhodes Theatre during the Grahamstown Festival 1977, directed by Murray Steyn and performed by Ian Roberts and Andrew Buckland.

1986: Other productions by ***, PACT (dir Francois Swart, 1986).

Translations and adaptations

In 1959 the Nederlands Kamertoneel from Antwerp produced a Dutch version by Anty Westerling of the play (Wrok om Gisteren) in the NTO Kamertoneel in Pretoria. The play was as popular in South Africa in the 1950-1960s as elsewhere.


Nederlands Kamertoneel programme of their South African tour, 1959.

Inskip, 1977. p 121.

Theatre programme, Asoka Theatre 1973 (NELM [Collection: KORT, Maurice]: 2012. 379. 20. 40).

Theatre programme, Rhodes 1977 (NELM [Collection: THEATRE PROGRAMMES]: 2012. 285. 1. 168).

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