Look Back in Anger

John Osbourne’s classic Look Back in Anger is one of those plays which should probably come with a health warning for people with high blood pressure and a family history of heart attacks. It’d be a pretty good idea, anyway, for the rather nerve-shredding version by Macaroons Production currently showing at Greenside. The cast ably whisks us through Osbourne’s exploration of love, misogyny and domestic violence as Alison (Artemis Fitzalan Howarth) and Jimmy (Tom Hilton) oscillate between bitter, violent fights and moments of marital bliss helped along by their Welsh lodger Cliff (Conor Kennedy). Things reach breaking point when Alison’s friend Helena (Lara McIvor) appears, driving husband and wife further and further apart.

As you’d expect from the original, the overriding emotion in this production is anger. The unfortunate thing is that there’s just a bit too much of it, particularly from Hilton’s Jimmy. His numerous vicious diatribes against Alison and Helena, like the outburst where he expresses a prophetic wish that his wife might become pregnant and lose the child, tend to end with Hilton charging about the stage shouting unnecessarily loudly. Hilton does a good job of capturing Jimmy’s turbulent character and his capacity to swing from relative calm to passionate fury, but he overdoes the anger and the production suffers for it.

There is a bit more to the production than just the anger, though. Particularly touching is the scene when Cliff comforts Alison after she burns her hand on the oven and she confides in him she is pregnant. Howarth is convincingly torn between her fear of Jimmy’s reaction and her defiant love for him, while Kennedy’s performance subtly conveys his impossible position as Jimmy’s friend. Most of the best moments in the production are like this, quieter and tender. It’s just a shame they’re overshadowed by all that anger.

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

An emotional portrayal of the conflict between love and class and the struggle of a husband and wife to achieve contact with each other. An innovative revival of a classic play by students from Oxford University.

Most Popular See More

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Book of Mormon

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets