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Stage

Seeking a change of heart

By JOHN FLEMING
Published October 19, 2006


Few plays in the history of British drama have had the impact of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger when it premiered in 1956. Here's what director Michael Blakemore had to say about it in his memoir, Arguments with England:

"(The play) had the penetrative force of a shell exploding against the facade of British life, and, rather like the bomb sites still in evidence around London, it allowed you almost improper glimpses of things once hidden - a naked light bulb hanging in a ruined kitchen, fading wallpaper suspended over a void and fragments of a staircase leading nowhere. 'Get rid of this rubbish and a make a fresh start' was the message we took from it, and if you were young and hungry it was a wildly exciting one. The change it advocated was never really political, though often assumed to be by the play's detractors. What it demanded was no less than a change of the English heart."

Hat Trick Theatre is giving a 50th anniversary staging of Osborne's play, starring Chris Holcom and Barbara Eaker, pictured here, and directed by David Frankel. It opens tonight and runs through Nov. 5 at Gorilla Theatre, Tampa. $15-$25. (813) 879-2914; gorillatheatre.com.

[Last modified October 18, 2006, 10:48:41]


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