Photograph of Alison and Cliff from John Osborne's Look Back in Anger (Royal Court Theatre, 1956)


In this image from the original production of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, Alison (Mary Ure) is ironing while Cliff (Alan Bates) reads the newspaper. Both of them are trying to ignore the ranting of Jimmy (played by Kenneth Haigh) who is standing just out of shot. The ironing board came to be seen as the defining image of post-war British theatre, a domestic object that symbolises a shift away from upper-middle-class ‘drawing-room comedies’ towards ‘kitchen-sink’ realism.

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Photograph of the original production of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger at the Royal Court, with Mary Ure as Alison and Alan Bates as Cliff, 1956
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