The Angry Young Men The Angry Young Men The presentation of John Osborne's play Look Back in Anger in 1956 was a great event in the history of the modern English theatre and start the myth of The Angry Young Men.
The label “The Angry Young Men” come to be used to indicate a group of British writers, intellectuals and public figures in show business voicing the cultural disillusionment of young generations who reacted against the Establishment. Their special target was the middle class. They shared a rebel attitude against the cultural background of the fifties and dealt with working-class protest. The young protesters wanted to establish the culture of youth and using the raw, colloquial language really spoken by average people.
John Osborne was the most famous name of this movement. (Arden, Wain, Wesker, Richardson…) John Osborne John Osborne was born in London in 1929, to a lower-middle class family. He soon developed great interest for the theatre. In 1956 he bacame famous when Look Back in Anger was produced at the Royal Court theatre in London. The author received the Evening Standard award as the most promising playwright of the year and the play met with enormous success all over the world. Among the plays that followed, the best known are The Entertainer, which reveals an interest for the music-hall and was also made into a film, Luther, based on Martin Luther. His best play since Look Back in Anger is Inadmissible Evidence. Osborne also wrote for television, and gave the film script for Tom Jones. He died in 1994. What was new in Look Back in Anger was the setting, the language, and the fact that the characters were from the working-class. Jimmy Porter, the hero of the play, is a university graduate who comes from a cheap boarding-school and makes a living running a sweet stall. He is angry for the events and the aspects of his time. His attacks are violent against his wife and her family, because they represent the upper-middle classvalues that he hates and despises so much. Jimmy wins his domestic revolution: he and his wife abandon reality and find shelter in an illusory bear and squirrel world.