Osborne, John 1929–1994
Osborne, John 1929–1994
(John James Osborne)
PERSONAL: Born December 12, 1929, in London, England; died of heart failure, December 24, 1994, in Shropshire, England; son of Thomas Godfrey (a commercial artist) and Nellie Beatrice (a barmaid; maiden name, Grove) Osborne; married Pamela Elizabeth Lane (an actress), 1951 (divorced, 1957); married Mary Ure (an actress), November 8, 1957 (divorced, 1963); married Penelope Gilliatt (a drama critic and novelist), May 24, 1963 (divorced, 1967); married Jill Bennett (an actress), April, 1968 (divorced, 1977); married Helen Dawson (a journalist), June 2, 1978; children: (third marriage) Nolan Kate.
CAREER: Dramatist, screenwriter, director, and actor. Worked on trade journals Gas World and Miller for six months; was a tutor to juvenile actors in a touring group, later the group's assistant stage manager, and finally an actor specializing in characterizations of old men; made first stage appearance at Lyceum, Sheffield, England, in No Room at the Inn, 1948; appeared in The Apollo de Bellac, Don Juan, and with the English Stage Company at Royal Court: Death of Satan, Cards of Identity, Good Woman of Setzuan, The Making of Moo, and A Cuckoo in the Nest. Director of stage productions, including Meals on Wheels, 1965. Appeared in films and television productions, including The Parachute, British Broadcasting Corporation (television), 1967, First Night of Pygmalion (television), 1969, as Maidanov in First Love (film), 1970, Get Carter (film), 1971, Lady Charlotte (television), 1977, Tomorrow Never Comes (film), 1978, and Flash Gordon (film), 1980. Playwright and producer; produced first play at Theatre Royal, Huddersfield, England, 1949, other plays include Personal Enemy, Opera House, and Harrogate, 1955; comanaged theatrical company at seaside resorts; cofounder-director, with Tony Richardson, of Woodfall Films, 1958–94; Oscar Lewenstein Plays Ltd., London, England, director, 1960–94. Member of council, English Stage Company, 1968–82.
AWARDS, HONORS: London Evening Standard Drama Award, 1956, for most promising British playwright, 1965, for A Patriot for Me, and 1968, for The Hotel in Amsterdam; New York Drama Critics Circle Award, 1958, for Look Back in Anger, and 1965, for Luther; Antoinette Perry ("Tony") Award nominations for best play, 1958, for Look Back in Anger, 1959, for Epitaph for George Dillon and 1966, for Inadmissible Evidence; Tony Award, 1964, for Luther; Academy Award for best adapted screenplay, 1963, for Tom Jones; Plays and Players best new play award, 1964, for Inadmissible Evidence, and 1968, for The Hotel in Amsterdam; honorary doctorate, Royal College of Art, 1970; Macallan Award for lifetime achievement, Writers' Guild of Great Britain, 1992.
(With Stella Linden) The Devil inside Him, produced in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England, 1950.
(With Anthony Creighton) Personal Enemy, produced in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England, 1955.
Look Back in Anger (produced in London, England, at the Royal Court Theatre, 1956; produced on Broadway, 1957), Criterion (New York, NY), 1957, reprinted, Dramatic Publishing (Chicago, IL), 1987.
(With Anthony Creighton) Epitaph for George Dillon (produced in Oxford, England, 1957; produced in London, England, 1958; produced in New York, 1958; produced in the West End as George Dillon, 1958), Criterion (New York, NY), 1958.
The Entertainer (produced in London, England, 1957; produced in the West End, 1957; produced on Broadway, 1958), Faber (London, England), 1957, Criterion (New York, NY), 1958.
The World of Paul Slickey (produced in London, England, 1959), Faber (London, England), 1959, Criterion (New York, NY), 1961.
Luther (produced in London, England, 1961; produced in the West End, 1961; produced on Broadway, 1963), Faber (London, England), 1961, Criterion (New York, NY), 1962, reprinted, New American Library (New York, NY), 1994.
Plays for England: The Blood of the Bambergs [and] Under Plain Cover (both produced in London, England, 1963, and New York, 1965), Faber (London, England), 1963, Criterion (New York, NY), 1964.
Inadmissible Evidence (produced in London, England, 1964; produced in the West End, 1965; produced on Broadway, 1965), Grove (New York, NY), 1965.
A Patriot for Me (produced in London, England, 1965; produced on Broadway, 1969), Faber (London, England), 1966, Random House (New York, NY), 1970, published with A Sense of Detachment, Faber, 1983.
A Bond Honoured (adapted from Lope de Vega's La fianza satisfecha; produced in London, England, 1966), Faber (London, England), 1966.
Time Present (produced in London, England, then in the West End, 1968), published with The Hotel in Amsterdam, Faber (London, England), 1968.
The Hotel in Amsterdam (produced in London, England, then in the West End, 1968), published with Time Present, Faber (London, England), 1968.
West of Suez (produced in London, England, 1971), Faber (London, England), 1971.
Hedda Gabler (adapted from Henrik Ibsen's play; produced in London, England, 1972), Faber (London, England), 1972, Dramatic Publishing (New York, NY), 1974.
A Sense of Detachment (produced in London, England, 1972), Faber (London, England), 1973, published with A Patriot for Me, Faber, 1983.
A Place Calling Itself Rome (adapted from Shakespeare's Coriolanus), Faber (London, England), 1973.
The Picture of Dorian Gray: A Moral Entertainment (adapted from Oscar Wilde's novel; produced in London, England, 1975), Faber (London, England), 1973.
Watch It Come Down (produced in London, England, 1976), Faber (London, England), 1975.
The End of Me Old Cigar (produced in London, England, 1975), published with Jill and Jack: A Play for Television (broadcast 1974), Faber (London, England), 1976.
The Father (adapted from August Strindberg's play; produced in London, England, 1988), published as Strindberg's The Father and Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, Faber (London, England), 1989.
Dejavu (sequel to Look Back in Anger; produced in London, England, 1992), Faber (London, England), 1990, Dramatic Publishing (New York, NY), 1994.
Look Back in Anger and Other Plays (includes Epitaph for George Dillon, The World of Paul Slickey, and Dejavu,), Faber (London, England), 1993.
Four Plays, Oberon (London, England), 2000.
Contributor to anthologies, including Modern English Plays, 1966, and The Best Short Plays of the World Theatre, 1958–1967, edited by Stanley Richards, 1968.
A Matter of Scandal and Concern (British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC-TV), 1960, produced for the stage in Nottingham, England, 1962, and New York, 1966), published as A Subject of Scandal and Concern: A Play for Television, Faber (London, England), 1961.
The Right Prospectus: A Play for Television (broadcast in 1970), Faber (London, England), 1970.
Very Like a Whale (broadcast in 1970), Faber (London, England), 1971.
The Gift of Friendship (broadcast in 1972), Faber (London, England), 1972.
You're Not Watching Me, Mummy (broadcast in 1980) [and] Try a Little Tenderness: Two Plays for Television, Faber (London, England), 1978.
A Better Class of Person: An Extract of Autobiography for Television and "God Rot Tunbridge Wells," Faber (London, England), 1985.
Also author of television plays Billy Bunter, 1952, Robin Hood, 1953, and Almost a Vision, 1976.
(With Nigel Kneale) Look Back in Anger (based on his play), Woodfall Films, 1959.
(With Nigel Kneale) The Entertainer (based on his play), Woodfall Films, 1960.
Tom Jones (adapted from the novel by Henry Fielding; produced by Woodfall Films, 1964), published as Tom Jones: A Film Script, Faber (London, England), 1964, revised edition, Grove (New York, NY), 1965.
(With Charles Wood) The Charge of the Light Brigade (based on the poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson), Woodfall Films, 1968.
Inadmissible Evidence (based on his play), Woodfall Films, 1968.
(Translator) Walter Benjamin, Origins of German Tragic Drama, Verso (London, England), 1977.
A Better Class of Person: An Autobiography, 1929–1956 (also see below), Dutton (New York, NY), 1981, published as A Better Class of Person, Volume I: John Osborne, an Autobiography, 1929–1956, Faber (London, England), 1994.
Too Young to Fight, Too Old to Forget, Faber (London, England), 1985.
The Meiningen Court Theatre, 1866–1890, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, England), 1988.
Almost a Gentleman, Volume II: An Autobiography, 1955–1966, Faber (London, England), 1991.
Damn You, England (collected prose), Faber (Boston, MA), 1994.
Editor of Hedda Gabler and Other Plays, by Henrik Ibsen. Contributor to books, including Tom Maschler, editor, Declaration, Dutton (New York, NY), 1958. Contributor to periodicals, including Encounter, Observer, and London Times.
ADAPTATIONS: Luther was made into a film in 1971; Osborne's screenplay for Look Back in Anger was remade for film in 1980 and for television in 1989, as was his screenplay for The Entertainer, 1975.
SIDELIGHTS: Prior to John Osborne's arrival on the scene, the British theater consisted mainly of classics, melodramas, and drawing-room comedies. But in 1956, Osborne's third play and first London-produced drama, Look Back in Anger, shocked audiences and "wiped the smugness off the frivolous face of English theatre," as John Lahr put it in a New York Times Book Review article. "Strangely enough," commented John Mortimer in the New York Times, "Look Back in Anger was, in shape, a conventional well-made play of the sort that might have been constructed by Noel Coward or Terence Rattigan." Yet, as Mortimer explained, "What made it different was that Jimmy Porter, the play's antihero, was the first young voice to cry out for a new generation that had forgotten the war, mistrusted the welfare state and mocked its established rulers with boredom, anger and disgust." As a result, Mortimer observed, "The age of revivals was over. A new and memorable period in the British theater began."
Look Back in Anger established the struggling actor and playwright as a leading writer for theater, television, and film. And, while his later works may not have created as great a stir as his London debut, as Richard Corliss wrote in Time, "The acid tone, at once comic and desperate, sustained Osborne throughout a volatile career." Perhaps more important than its effect on Osborne's personal career, however, was the impact Look Back in Anger had on British culture. In Corliss's opinion, the play not only changed British theater, directly influencing playwrights such as Joe Orton and Edward Albee, but it also "stoked a ferment in a then sleepy popular culture." All manner of writers, actors, artists, and musicians (including the Beatles) soon reflected the influence of Osborne's "angry young man."
As Look Back in Anger begins, Jimmy Porter is a twenty-five-year-old working-class youth with a provincial university education and bleak hopes for the future. He frequently clashes with his wife, Alison, who comes from a more privileged background. The couple share their tiny flat with Cliff, Jimmy's partner in the sweetshop business. A triangle forms—Jimmy, Alison, and Alison's friend Helena, who alerts Alison's parents to the squalor their now-pregnant daughter is living in and helps convince Alison to leave Jimmy. Helena, however, stays on and becomes Jimmy's mistress. As time goes on, Alison miscarries and, realizing her love for Jimmy, returns to the flat. Helena decides that she cannot come between Jimmy and his wife any longer and withdraws. Meanwhile, Cliff also leaves the flat in an attempt to better his lot. "And Alison's baby which could have taken Cliff's place in their triangular relationship will never be," Arthur Nicholas Athanason explained in a Dictionary of Literary Biography article. "Jimmy and Alison must depend more than ever now on fantasy games to fill this void and to achieve what moments of intimacy and peaceful coexistence they can in their precarious marriage."
With the immediate and controversial success of Look Back in Anger, continued Athanason, the author "found himself, overnight, regarded as a critic of society or, more precisely, a reflector of his generation's attitudes toward society. Needless to say, the concern and feeling for intimate personal relationships that are displayed in Look Back in Anger may indeed have social and moral implications. But what really moves Osborne in this play seems to be the inability of people to understand and express care for each other better—particularly in their language and their emotional responsiveness. What is new and experimental in British drama about [the play] is the explosive character of Jimmy Porter and his brilliant and dazzling vituperative tirades, in which a renewed delight in a Shavian vigor and vitality of language and ideas is displayed with virtuoso command." Noting a resemblance to Tennessee Williams's play A Streetcar Named Desire, Athanason labeled Look Back in Anger "an intimate portrait of an extremely troubled working-class marriage (riddled with psychological problems and sexual frustrations), which was, in its way, a theatrical first for British drama."
When Look Back in Anger opened in London in 1956, few critics showed enthusiasm for the play. Kenneth Tynan, in a review for the Observer, was the most notable exception. He found that Osborne had skillfully captured the character of British youth, "the drift towards anarchy, the instinctive leftishness, the automatic rejection of 'official' attitudes, the surrealist sense of humour." Tynan conceded that because disillusioned youth was at the play's center, it might have been narrowly cast at a youthful audience. "I agree that Look Back in Anger is a minority taste," he wrote. "What matters, however, is the size of the minority. I estimate it at roughly 6,733,000, which is the number of people in this country between twenty and thirty."
Most other critics could not see beyond Jimmy's explosive character to examine the themes underlying the fury he directed against the social mores of the day. More recent critics have been able to look back with greater objectivity on the merits and impact of the play. "Osborne, through Jimmy Porter, was voicing the natural uncertainties of the young, their frustrations at being denied power, their eventual expectations of power and their fears of abusing it, either in running a country or a family," noted John Elsom in his book Post-War British Theatre. For this reason, Elsom suggested, Osborne was not guilty, as some critics maintained, of simply using Jimmy's anger as a ploy to create shock and sensationalism. Nor was he guilty of portraying the angry young man as cool. "Osborne made no attempt to glamorise the anger," Elsom wrote. "Jimmy was not just the critic of his society, he was also the object for criticism. He was the chief example of the social malaise which he was attacking. Through Jimmy Porter, Osborne had opened up a much wider subject than rebelliousness or youthful anger, that of social alienation, the feeling of being trapped in a world of meaningless codes and customs."
So impressed was Laurence Olivier with Look Back in Anger that the actor commissioned Osborne to write a play for him. The result was a drama—The Entertainer—which features a leading role that is considered one of the greatest and most challenging parts in late twentieth-century drama. In chronicling the life of wilting, third-rate music-hall comedian Archie Rice, Osborne was acknowledged to be reflecting in The Entertainer the fate of postwar Britain, an island suffering recession and unemployment, losing its status as an empire. "Archie is of a piece with the angry Osborne antiheroes of Look Back in Anger and [the author's later play] Inadmissible Evidence," noted Frank Rich in a New York Times review of a revival of The Entertainer. "He's a repulsive, unscrupulous skunk, baiting everyone around him (the audience included); he's also a somewhat tragic victim of both his own self-contempt and of a declining England. If it's impossible to love Archie, we should be electrified or at least antagonized by his pure hostility and his raw instinct for survival. Mr. Os-borne has a way of making us give his devils their pitiful due."
The drama's allegory of fading Britain and Olivier's compelling portrayal of Archie made The Entertainer a remarkable success in its first production. However, when it was revived on Broadway in 1983 with Nicol Williamson as Archie, New York Times reviewer Walter Kerr observed that in the play Osborne "has first shown us, at tedious, now cliché-ridden lengths how dreary the real world has become—what with blacks moving in upstairs, sons being sent off to Suez, and everyone else sitting limply about complaining of it all." Kerr added, "He has then had the drummer hit the rim of the snare as a signal that we're leaping over into music-hall make-believe—only to show us that it is exactly as dreary, exactly as deflated, exactly as dead as the onetime promise in the parlor. There is limpness in the living room and there is limpness before the footlights…. There is no transfusion of 'vitality,' no theatrical contrasts."
As Athanason explained, the author "owes a particular indebtedness to the turns and stock-character types of the English music-hall tradition, and, in The Entertainer particularly, he set out to capitalize on the dramatic as well as the comic potential of these values. For example, by conceiving each scene of this play as a music-hall turn, Osborne enables the audience to see both the 'public' Archie performing his trite patter before his 'dead behind the eyes' audience and the 'private' Archie performing a different comic role of seeming nonchalance before his own family."
Inadmissible Evidence presents another Osborne type in Bill Maitland, a contemporary London attorney who finds that his lusts for power, money, and women do little to fill the emotional voids in his life. Athanason described the play as opening in a "Kafkaesque dream sequence set in a courtroom that foreshadows the fate of [Maitland,] on trial before his own conscience for 'having unlawfully and wickedly published and made known a wicked, bawdy and scandalous object'—him-self." Although he pleads not guilty to the court's indictment of him, his life is presumably the inadmissible evidence that he dares not produce in mitigation.
"Essentially a journey through the static spiritual hell of Maitland's mind, Inadmissible Evidence dramatizes a living, mental nightmare that culminates, as Maitland's alienation is pushed to its inevitable end, in a complete nervous breakdown," continued Athanason. "The play is principally a tour de force monologue for one actor, for its secondary characters are mere dream figures and metaphors that externalize the intense conflict going on within Maitland's disintegrating mind." The critic also felt that in this drama Osborne demonstrated his finest writing to date.
Osborne wrote other notable plays, including A Patriot for Me, a fictional telling of the trial and last days of Hungary's infamous Captain Redl, who was framed for his homosexuality and pronounced an enemy of the state; and Luther, a biography of religious reformist Martin Luther, an antihero in his time. The works that garnered Osborne perhaps the widest notice after the mid-1960s, however, were not plays but autobiographies: A Better Class of Person: An Autobiography, 1929–1956, and Almost a Gentleman, Volume II: An Autobiography, 1955–1966.
In relating his life story through the age of twenty-six in A Better Class of Person, Osborne caught the attention of critics for his caustic, even bitter, descriptions of his home life, especially his relationship with his parents. Osborne's father, who worked intermittently in advertising, was a sickly figure who spent his last years in a sanitarium. His mother, a bartender, seems to be the focal point of the author's harshest remarks. Osborne "looks back, of course, in anger," remarked John Le-onard in a New York Times article. "In general, he is angry at England's lower middle class, of which he is the vengeful child. In particular, he reviles his mother, who is still alive. Class and mother, in this fascinating yet unpleasant book, sometimes seem to be the same mean thing, a blacking factory." Through his harsh view of family and society, Osborne captured the essence of his time and place. David Hare maintained in the New Statesman, "He understands better than any modern writer that emotion repressed in the bricked-up lives of the suburb-dweller does not disappear, but that instead it leaks, distorted, through every pore of the life: in whining, in meanness, in stubbornness, in secrecy."
If Osborne's memories were more bitter than sweet, a number of critics found that the author's hard-bitten style made for an interesting set of memoirs. Washington Post Book World reviewer David Richards did not, indicating that "like the male characters in his plays, who fulminate against the sordidness of life, Osborne is probably a romantic manque. But it is often difficult to feel the real anguish under the relentless invective of his writing. A Better Class of Person is the least likeable of autobiographies, although it should, no doubt, be pointed out that affability has never been one of Os-borne's goals." More often, however, critics had praise for the book. Hilary Mantel commented in the London Review of Books, "A Better Class of Person is written with the tautness and power of a well-organized novel. It is a ferociously sulky, rancorous book." Hare was impressed by Osborne's style: "His prose is so supple, so enviably clear that you realize how many choices he has always had as a writer."
Other reviewers were taken, as John Russell Taylor put it in Plays and Players, by "not the sense of what he is saying, but the sheer force with which he says it." In the words of Newsweek's Ray Sawhill, Osborne "has an explosive gift for denunciation and invective, and what he's written is—deliberately, nakedly—a tantrum…. He can blow meanness and pettiness up so large that they acquire a looming quality, like a slow-motion movie scene. His savage relish can be so palpable that you share his enjoyment of the dynamics of rage." Os-borne's memoirs constitute "the best piece of writing [the author] has done since Inadmissible Evidence," according to John Lahr in his New York Times Book Review piece. "After [that play,] his verbal barrages became grapeshot instead of sharp shooting. He neither revised his scripts nor moderated his cranky outbursts. His plays, like his pronouncements about an England he could no longer fathom, became second-rate and self-indulgent. But A Better Class of Person takes its energy from looking backward to the source of his pain before fame softened him. [The work proves that] John Osborne once again is making a gorgeous fuss."
Some readers of A Better Class of Person expected more insights into the playwright's writing process; instead, Osborne offered only insights into the playwright. As Los Angeles Times critic Charles Champlin pointed out, "There is nothing about stagecraft in A Better Class of Person, but everything about the making of the playwright. The [author's Look Back in Anger] was abrasive and so is the autobiography. It is also, like the play, savagely well-written, vividly detailed, and corrosively honest, unique as autobiography in its refusal to touch up the author's image. He encourages us to find him impossible and absolutely authentic." The self-portrait that Osborne paints, observed Benedict Nightingale in Encounter, "is of a young man of strong likes and (and more often) dislikes, capable of passion but also, as he himself wryly recognizes, of a disconcerting pettiness; a dedicated rebel, though mainly in the sense of not hesitating to make himself objectionable to the dull, drab or conventional. Interestingly, he seems to be without social or political convictions."
Osborne continued his autobiography—his exploration into the people, places, and events that made him the caustic king of the British theater—in Almost a Gentleman. In Mantel's view, Osborne's first volume of autobiography "bears witness to the grown man's failure to separate himself emotionally from a woman he despises [his mother]…. The consequences of this failure are played out in the second volume: they are a disabling misogyny, a series of failed and painful relationships, a grim determination to spit in the world's eye. He is not lovable, he knows; very well, he'll be hateful then." By the second volume, critics were not surprised by the force of Osborne's hatefulness, so they were able to look beyond it to the writing, its stories and style. As Alan Brien wrote in the New Statesman, "Few practitioners provide twin barrels fired at once so often as John Osborne. However, after the initial splutter, there are still a few anecdotes that leave this reader dissatisfied." Brien also found Osborne's writing uneven. "His language comes in two modes. Rather too often his use is slapdash and approximate, at once confusing and surreal." Times Literary Supplement contributor Jeremy Treglown faulted the book for disintegrating "into a sad jumble of diary entries, fan-letters, bits of Osborne's journalism and occasional drenching of sentimentality or bile." Yet, Brien admitted, "Almost equally often, he wields his pen like a blow-torch, melting down banalities and clichés into new-minted inventions of his own that sting and sizzle."
In the early 1990s, Osborne looked back on Look Back in Anger, writing a sequel titled Dejavu. This episode in the life of Jimmy Porter, the angry young man, finds a twice-divorced Jimmy living with his grown daughter Alison in a large country home. His buddy Cliff still spends a lot of time and shares a lot of drinks with Jimmy. The fourth character is a friend of Alison's and Jimmy's soon-to-be lover. "Some of the targets inevitably have changed, and the bile is now more elegantly expressed," observed Jack Pitman in Variety, "but otherwise hardly a beat has been missed in the 36 years since 'Anger' rocked the Brits." The biggest change is that Osborne's angry young man has become an angry old man. A reviewer in the Economist characterized the result: "For much of the first act Jimmy Porter sounds like an educated Alf Garnett—or, for Americans, an educated Archie Bunker." He rails against his past and how it has brought him to his current station. He failed before and he continues to fail. Suggested the Economist review, "He fails in life because he is not willing to make the compromises to his social superiors that are necessary for success in England."
Osborne had a great deal of difficulty having his final play staged, and it was not widely reviewed. The playwright's difficulties at finding success at the end of his career seemed to parallel the difficulties portrayed in this episode of Jimmy Porter's life. Time reviewer Richard Corliss called Dejavu "a glum sequel to Anger. In it [Osborne] described himself as 'a churling, grating note, a spokesman for no one but myself; with deadening effect, cruelly abusive, unable to be coherent about my despair.'" Still, critics found merit in Osborne's ability to turn his critical, mocking eye on himself. Wrote Matt Wolf in the Chicago Tribune, "Unendurable as Dejavu seems as if it's going to be, it is that rare play which really does improve, and by the last half hour or so, both it—and its superb star, Peter Egan—have long since exerted a rather macabre fascination." Pitman admitted that the play is long and without a coherent plot but acknowledged that "the show takes on an emotional depth as the raging misfit Porter gradually concedes the failure of his life."
Osborne's anger may not have inspired the same following later in his career as it did with the debut of Look Back in Anger in 1956. Yet, his impact on the theater remains indisputable. "Few dramatists tried to mimic the Osborne style in the way in which [Harold] Pinter was imitated," Elsom commented. "The success of Look Back in Anger, however, destroyed several inhibiting myths about plays: that the theatre had to be genteel, that heroes were stoical and lofty creatures, that audiences needed nice people with whom to identify." John Mortimer maintained that the positive power of Osborne's anger was also beyond dispute. "Osborne's anger was in defense of old values of courage and honor. It was often unreasonable, wonderfully ill considered and always, as he wrote of Tennessee Williams's plays, 'full of private fires and personal visions worth a thousand statements of a thousand politicians.'"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Denison, Patricia D., John Osborne: A Casebook, Garland (New York, NY), 1997.
Boston Globe, January 6, 1992, p. 2.
Cambridge Quarterly, winter, 1965–66, pp. 28-42.
Chicago Tribune, July 19, 1992, sec. 13, p. 20.
Drama Review, Volume VII, number 2, 1962.
Drama: The Quarterly Theatre Review, winter, 1975; autumn, 1978.
Economist, November 23, 1991, p. 100; June 13, 1992, p. 99.
Encounter, May, 1982, pp. 63-70.
Entertainment Weekly, March 20, 1992, p. 72.
Guardian Weekly, November 17, 1991, p. 25; May 15, 1994, p. 28.
Listener, October 15, 1981, p. 441.
Literature and History, autumn, 1988, pp. 194-206.
London Review of Books, November 21, 1991, p. 20.
Los Angeles Times, November 13, 1981; October 18, 1984; February 18, 1985.
Modern Drama, September, 1989, pp. 413-424.
New Republic, November 1, 1969.
New Statesman, December 13, 1974, p. 872; January 24, 1975, p. 118; October 16, 1981, pp. 23-24.
New Statesman and Society, November 15, 1991, p. 47.
Newsweek, December 14, 1981.
New Yorker, March 15, 1982; February 20, 1995, p. 86.
New York Review of Books, January 6, 1966.
New York Times, November 5, 1981; January 21, 1983; January 30, 1983; March 25, 1987, p. C26; January 8, 1995, sec. 2, p. 5.
New York Times Book Review, November 8, 1981, pp. 1, 30, 32.
Observer (London, England), December 15, 1991, p. 49; November 3, 1991, p. 69; September 20, 1992, p. 54; May 1, 1994, p. 24.
Plays and Players, December, 1981, p. 22.
Spectator, November 9, 1991, p. 50; April 23, 1994, p. 39.
Times (London, England), October 15, 1981; May 1, 1983; May 13, 1983; August 10, 1983.
Times Literary Supplement, December 29, 1972, p. 1569; January 4, 1974; October 16, 1981; August 31, 1984; November 15, 1991, p. 21; April 29, 1994, p. 32.
Variety, June 15, 1992, p. 62.
Washington Post Book World, December 27, 1981.
Boston Globe, December 27, 1994, p. 59.
Chicago Tribune, December 27, 1994, sec. 2, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times, December 27, 1994, p. A24.
Newsweek, January 9, 1995, p. 66.
New York Times, December 27, 1994, p. A12.
Time, January 9, 1995, p. 75.
Times (London, England), December 27, 1994, p. 15.
Wall Street Journal, December 27, 1994, p. A1.
Washington Post, December 27, 1994, p. D4.