Angry Young Man comes of age

The role of the archetypal angry young man in John Osborne’s classic Look Back in Anger was given a new lease of life, as Benedict Cumberbatch enthusiastically embraced the persona of Jimmy Porter.  

Debut director Polly Stenham described the experience of putting together a reading with a top-class cast after only a day’s rehearsal as “like joy riding a Ferrari”. 

The action centres around the love-hate relationship between Jimmy and his long-suffering wife Alison, a powerful performance by Rebecca Hall. Anna Maxwell Martin, as Alison’s friend Helena, hid a passionate streak under a cool exterior, Matt Ryan, as Jimmy’s friend Cliff, was probably the most sympathetic character in the entire proceedings, and Julian Wadham played Alison’s father Colonel Redfern with suitably stiff-upper-lip restraint.

The one-off reading of Osborne’s seminal work was part of the Royal Court’s Playwrights’ Playwrights series at the Duke of York’s theatre in the West End, which gives four UK playwrights the opportunity to direct one of their favourite plays.

The season continues with Roy Williams directing  Barrie Keeffe’s Abide With Me at 2pm on Friday 13th July.

This is followed by Robert Halman’s Across Oka, directed by David Eldridge, on Friday 20th July.


~ by A_A on July 9, 2012.

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