John Osborne (1929 - 1994)
The Playright whose works not only drew international attention to the new-born Angry Young Movement but revitalized the post-war English theater by bringing a new kind of realism through the use of surprisingly new aggressive language and a passionate criticism of the Establishment. John Osborne was born in London in 1929 of working-class parents (his father was a copywriter and his mother a barmaid). He was educated first in London and then in Devonshire, but he was a rebel who found school intolerable. He therefore left early and worked at a variety of jobs, including journalism. He then abandoned the latter fr the theater, working for some years with a touring company, first as actor, then as a stage manager. His first stage success was Look Back in Anger (May 8th, 1956), and this has remained of the most impressive of this works, although he produced a number of significant plays since then. After the immense success of this play, Osborne worked widely in both the theater, television and cinema. In his later works he gradually modified the earlier rebelliousness, so conspicuous in his most famous play, to more personal, intimate themes.
He was a hard person to deal with. He abused friends and wives (he had five, one of whom committed suicide). He died in 1994 with a sense of failure at his declining career as a playwright, the same sense of failure which, two years before, had led him to describe himself in his last play, Dèja-vu, as " a spokesman for no one but myself; with deeding effect, cruelly abusive, unable to be coherent about my despair".
The best of Osborne's work includes:
-Look Back in Anger (1956).
-Epitaph for George Dillon (1955).