“. . . modern British theatre has an actual birthday; by virtually universal consent, it is regarded as the first performance at the Royal Court Theatre in London of John Osborne’s LOOK BACK IN ANGER on May 8, 1956.” (Clive Barnes, American theater critic).This first play by Osborne was so vitriolic in its attack on the prevailing attitudes and values of society that it has made its author and main character, Jimmy Porter, synonomous with the appellation “angry young man.” The play’s opening created such an explosion on the London theater scene that the young Osborne became overnight the mouthpiece for those angry young Englishmen who were struggling passionately against the conventions of their society. For the first time in history, a new kind of presence was on the stage, a new voice, that of Jimmy Porter.
It was this voice, speaking for a new post war generation that was unique rather than the formal structure of the play which Osborne himself called “old-fashioned.