In 1956 the Royal Court Theatre became the home of George Devine's English Stage Company. Its third play was a new work by an unknown author: 'Look Back In Anger' by John Osborne. The production starred Mary Ure, Alan Bates, Helena Hughes and Kenneth Haigh as the central character, Jimmy Porter.
Reviews were mixed, but critics recognised the power of the writing. When the BBC broadcast an extract, the play achieved national fame. The 'angry young man', Jimmy Porter, raging against the modern world from a run-down flat in a Midlands town, voiced the frustrations of educated post war youth, whose dreams of a better life had not been realised.
During the 1950s other theatre companies were producing gritty studies of everyday life, but Osborne succeeded in capturing the mood of the times and creating a play which now seems a landmark in 20th century theatre.