I found this statement online:
“On 8 May 1956, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger opened at the Royal Court on Sloane Square. It was the third production of the new English Stage Company, under Artistic Director George Devine, and is now considered the play that marks the beginning of modern British drama. George Devine aimed to discover ‘hard-hitting, uncompromising writers’, and create a company that would challenge and stimulate British theatre.”
I go along with this. There’s a mischievous, ill-informed view that Joan Littlewood booted British Theatre into modernity. Nonsense; I worked with her (you can read about it in my book). I also worked with George and, for all his eccentricities, he was a giant change-maker on the British drama scene. We owe him a lot.
This programme is of a Look Back… revival. I wasn’t entirely sure that the writing was as revolutionary as the commentators made out. What caught the attention of the critics was that there was a scene in which a woman ACTUALLY DID SOME IRONING on the West End stage. If you can imagine that this was startling at the time, you will get some inkling of what standard West End writing was like.