John Osborne, a significant modern playwright with few of his significant creations

John Osborne was a remarkable figure in the modern era for his contributions in English literature. In addtion to being a playwright he was also a screenwriter, prose writer and a well known actor.

Life (1929-1994)

He was born in London in the family of Thomas Osborne, an advertisement writer and Nellie Beatrice, a barmaid belonging to the working class. After his father’s death, he somehow managed to go to Belmont College, a private boarding school. There he had differences of opinion with the headmaster and as a result of that, he was expelled from the school. He had the certificate for the completion of his upper school degree but never attended the college or university. Then he came home and indulged himself in multiple odd jobs for the sake of survival before he joined the theatre. He stepped into the theatre with Anthony Creighton’s provincial touring company as a stagehand, actor and writer. Then he wrote two plays – The Devil Inside Him and Personal Enemy before the production of Look Back in Anger. Initially, the play was rejected by so many production companies before it was selected by George Devine for his failing Royal Court Theatre. It was a crucial time for both Osborne and Royal Court Theatre as they were struggling to survive financially. After the production, the play received a mixed review. However, soon Osborne became to be one of the important playwrights in the British Theatre. Now we’ll talk about a few of his significant contributions to literature. So, let’s look into them –

Look Back in Anger, the most important one

It is considered the most important play of his career as well as in the modern British Theater. It was the first well example of the Kitchen Sink Drama, a style of writing where the unfurnished emotion and dissatisfaction of the character is being expressed. In this play, the voice against the establishment is raised by the character of Jimmy Porter, the anti-hero of ‘Look Back’.

The Entertainer

It is a stage play which managed him to achieve a little wealth and popularity. Like Look Back in Anger, it also portrays the concept of an angry young man where a middle-aged man, Archie, represents the state of mind of the entire nation.

Lastly, one of the famous lines of Look Back in Anger where the feelings of an angry young man is clearly expressed –

 “Nobody thinks, nobody cares. No beliefs, no convictions and no enthusiasm. Just another Sunday evening.”


Sohini is a journalism and mass communication enthusiast from Kolkata with an extreme interest in creative writing. Focused on entertainment, health and lifestyle, her stories could make your net surfing much more interesting.
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