Cheri's Reviews > Look Back in Anger

Look Back in Anger by John Osborne
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's review
Jul 06, 07

bookshelves: drama-british
Read in January, 1991

I know that this is an important play in British theater history, and seen within the context of the times, I'm sure it must have seemed pretty radical when it first came out. Overall I've enjoyed reading it, but have enjoyed it much less in performance.

The play suffers greatly from being so completely of it's time. When it's staged now, I feel it is more of a history lesson than an active meaningful experience. Reading it, it feels right in it's own age and context. Live, it lacks the feeling of connection to the material that one feels when one is confronted with living, breathing truth.

Of course, I'm a modern woman and the writer is a man of his times, (even more than some) so the female characters in the play act in ways which could only happen in years past. I've seen several wonderful actresses take on the play, and mostly they seem to be either making excuses for their behavior, or trying to fill in the enormous gaps in the character's motivation. I find this distances me from the material even more.

Still, worth a read.
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