Look Back in Anger


Writers: John Osborne


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Unit/Single Set, Period
Time & Place
the porters’ one-room flat in the midlands of england. the present (1956).
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Small Cast
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult characters


Look Back in Anger is a searing, jolting look at class, sex, politics, and the stifling conventions of 1950s England, all lamented by voices of the angry, alienated youth living at its margins. The champion of the angry young men is Jimmy Porter: proud, educated, lower-class, and volatile. He lives in a one-bedroom flat with his wife, Alison. Alison represents all that Jimmy stands against; she is upper-class, privileged, and detached. There exists a passion between the two that neither can live with nor without. It is left to their roommate, Cliff, an affable young Welshman, to keep some peace within the household. Into this time bomb walks the affluent, upright Helena Charles, an old friend of Alison’s, from her former life. As the four fight each other, fall in and out of love, and release their pent-up rage towards the outside world, the audience receives a glimpse into playwright John Osborne’s frustrated, class-choked world. “The injustice of it is almost perfect!” Jimmy laments. “The wrong people going hungry, the wrong people being loved, the wrong people dying!”

Lead Characters

Look Back in Anger guide sections