John Osborne


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Osborne, John

(John James Osborne), 1929–94, English dramatist. He began his theatrical career as an actor and playwright in provincial English repertory theaters. Osborne's plays usually focus on an individual character and the sheer force of his language rather than on action. His first commercial success was Look Back in Anger (1956), concerning a restless and vociferous young man of the working class who is at war with himself and society; it became the seminal work for the so-called angry young menangry young men,
term applied to a group of English writers of the 1950s whose heroes share certain rebellious and critical attitudes toward society. This phrase, which was originally taken from the title of Leslie Allen Paul's autobiography, Angry Young Man
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. His other plays depict the frustration of living without hope in a world filled with false values. Among Osborne's other plays are The Entertainer (1957), Luther (1961), Inadmissible Evidence (1964), A Patriot for Me (1965), The End of Me Old Cigar (1974), Watch It Come Down (1976), and Déjà vu (1991). He also wrote the screenplay for Tom Jones (1963).

Bibliography

See his autobiographies, A Better Class of Person (1981) and Almost a Gentleman (1994); biography by J. Heilpern (2007); studies by H. Goldstone (1982) and A. P. Hinchliffe (1984).

Osborne, John

 

Born Dec. 12, 1929, in London. British playwright.

Osborne was initially an actor. He began writing in the late 1940’s, collaborating with A. Creighton on The Devil Inside (1949) and other works. The premiere of Osborne’s play Look Back in Anger in 1956 (Russian translation, 1959) is considered the beginning of the literary movement of the “angry young men.” In the play, Osborne depicts postwar British youth, who reject traditional bourgeois values with bitterness and contempt but see no goals worth struggling for. In his subsequent plays (The Entertainer, 1957; Inadmissible Evidence, 1964; West of Suez, 1969; A Sense of Detachment, 1973), Osborne portrays with cutting irony and emotion the crisis of contemporary British intelligentsia and scathingly criticizes the sociopolitical system and social mores of Great Britain.

Osborne’s plays combine elements of naturalism with features reminiscent of B. Brecht; farcical devices are also used along with psychological characterization. The character of Martin Luther in Osborne’s historical tragedy Luther (1961) is also presented as an “angry young man.”

WORKS

The World of Paul Slickey. London, 1959.
Plays for England. London, 1963.
A Patriot for Me. London, 1965.
In Russian translation:
“Nepodsudnoe delo.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1967, no. 7.

REFERENCES

Palievskii, P. “Odinokie medvedi.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1958, no. 2.
Shestakov, D. Sovremennaia angliiskaia drama. Moscow, 1968.
Trussler, S. The Plays of John Osborne. London, 1969. (Bibliography.)
Carter, A. John Osborne. Edinburgh, 1969. (Bibliography.)

I. M. LEVIDOVA

References in periodicals archive ?
"I am not saying we're a throwback country band by any stretch, but we are still keeping in tradition," said John Osborne. "It's easy to let yourself veer away from that because monetarily it might make more sense to try do something that is more pop or more mainstream.
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When the play's 26-year-old author John Osborne was described in print as an "angry young man," the label was extended to all his contemporaries who expressed a rage at the persistence of class distinctions, a pride in their lower-class mannerisms, and a dislike for anything highbrow or "phoney."
(1957) A play in three acts by John Osborne. Jimmy Porter, a working - class man with a university education, finds that he has no place in the Establishment world his education had supposedly qualified him to enter.
What term was applied to the writers John Osborne, Kingsley Amis, John Braine and Colin Wilson?
1961: One of London's biggest ''ban the bomb'' demos ended with 830 arrested, including actress Vanessa Redgrave (pictured at the event) and playwright John Osborne.
The modern classic by John Osborne conjures the seedy glamour of the old music halls and offers an explosive examination of public masks and private torment.
it Book The Entertainer, Garrick Theatre, London (August 20 - November 12) Kenneth Branagh brings his season at the Garrick to a close, joining an impressive cast including John Hurt and Greta Scacchi in John Osborne's classic tale of the dying age of the music hall.
Both jockey and footballer are staying at the same Southport Hotel, and are watched on their early morning gallop by (left-to-right) West Brom's Tony Brown, John Osborne, Bobby Hope, and Graham Williams.
What has happened to the fight and dedication of players like John Wile, Cyrille Regis, John Osborne to name a few.
BORN FRANK Sinatra, US singer/ actor, 1915 JOHN Osborne, playwright, 1929 NOBBY Solano, ex-NUFC star, 1974 above DIED IKE Turner, US soul singer, 2007, above DOUGLAS Fairbanks, US actor, 1939 BRAD Dexter, US actor, 2002