Look Back in Anger

From the moment I sat down, I knew this was a quality production. The characters were already onstage, the audience in eager anticipation; the aura oozed professionalism. However, what a classic play needs when it comes to the fringe is a strong rejuvenation, and this production was executed well, but without any particular innovation.Look Back in Anger evokes a crumbling post-war Britain; the close of the era of the debutants, and the coming sprawl of working-class society. There is poverty and opportunity in equal parts; the tumultuous marriage of our two leads, Jimmy and Alison, representing the chaotic evolution of a country that has lost its place on the world stage. It is a play about real life, and real people.This is a story of struggle, hatred, memory and lust. It is breathtakingly performed, encapsulating the viewer in the whirlwind of emotions embodied by the central couple; we revel in Jimmy’s arrogance and manipulations before collapsing in the depression and heartache of Alison. I have never seen such beautiful characterisation as these four actors achieve.Nevertheless, expectations were not exceeded. I was hoping for a new take on the Osborne masterpiece, some subtle reworking of the characters. It could have been grittier, darker - the team clearly had the creative potential to expand and devise from the original script. Everyone acted to the best of their ability but the casting was not perfect: Jimmy was simply not good-looking enough to be the sort of man that women would fall head over heels for, though the actor made up for this somewhat with the sheer force of Jimmy’s bipolar personality.I cannot deny that my attentions wavered more than once; however I would still recommend this as the perfect ‘straight play’ for all those traditional theatre-types out there.

Reviews by Louise Hemfrey

Cluedo

★★★

The End

★★★★

Broken Wing

★★★★

Mah Hunt

★★★★★

Performances

The Blurb

Jimmy and Alison find themselves without direction, crushed by the depression and recession. Then the haughty Helena comes to stay and drives a wedge between them... John Osborne's insightful postwar drama is increasingly relevant today. www.sjcproductions.com