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2010 articles 2010 articles

'A Poor Jonah': John Osborne's Roads to Freedom

Jamie Andrews (notes)

Abstract

While recent years have seen increasing critical engagement with British theatre in the years preceding John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, few writers have concentrated on the theatre of Osborne himself before 1956. However, the emergence in the British Library's collections in 2009 of two play-scripts written by Osborne and (briefly) staged before 1956, as well as the deposit of previously unseen letters in the Osborne Archive in Texas, now allow for a fuller consideration of Osborne's long apprenticeship in the theatre, and of the seven plays written before his 'overnight' breakthrough with Look Back in Anger in May 1956.

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