'Look Back' closes out drama season

Fullerton College Hornet  - Nancy Neil - Friday, May 1st, 1970

"Look Back In Anger," John Osborne's criticism of the English establishment in the 1950's, will end a successful season for the FJC drama department. The play will open tonight, May 1, with performances following on May 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

Curtain time will be 8 p.m. in the studio theatre of the Theatre Arts building. Ticket prices will be $1.50 for adults 75 cents for students, and 50 cents for students with student discount cards. Students with discount cards are entitled to one free ticket with the purchase of a ticket.

"Look Back In Anger" opened in London in May 1956. This play was the start of John Osborne, a major contemporary playwright in England, and the beginning of the "Angry Young Men" in literature.

When the play opened, the critics called it a social outrage. Reviewers attacked Osborne as a ruffian and intellectual upstart who was doing the unthinkable in the drawing-room, threatening the good manners and comfortable illusions of British middle class life by defiantly unmasking "the Establishment."

Controversy, such as no British playwright had stirred for longer than London critics could remember, created the image of Osborne as leader of the "Angry Young Men." When the play opened according to critic Louis Kronenberger, it "jabbed some good spiny cactus into England's drama."

The theme of the play embodies Osborne's brand of existentialist belief that "to become angry is to care."

"I think this play is indicative of the frustrations all people are going through today," said Mr.

George Stoughton, director of the student production. "The characters are in their twenties and the problems are very real." The theme and characters are of now. Jimmy Porter, Osborne's main character, unleashes a furious attack on the establishment. And in doing so he presents the frustrations, bitterness and emotional chaos which envolves so many young people today.

British critic Richard Findlater's summation of his work echoes New York's reaction to him: "What identifies him as 'angry' is not so much the radical complexion of his views but the emotional temperature of his plays."

Fears that Osborne's plays would mean little outside Great Britain were dispelled when "Look Back In Anger" won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award as best "foreign" play of the 1957-58 season.

The cast of the student production includes: Sheldon Craig, immy Porter; Polly Norby, Alison Porter; Mike LaValley, Cliff Lewis; Terry Sidell, Helena Charles; David Jewell, Colonel Redfern; and Brad Watson, assistant director.