Plays Two

Front Cover
Faber & Faber, 1998 - Drama - 287 pages

This second collection of John Osborne's dramatic work includes The Entertainer, The Hotel in Amsterdam, West of Suez and Time Present.

'A lifelong satirist of prigs and puritans, whether of the Right or Left, he took no hostages, expecting from other people the same unyielding, unflinching commitment to their view of the truth which he took for granted in his own. Of all the British playwrights of the twentieth century he is the one who risked the most. And risking most, frequently offered the most rewards.' David Hare, Spectator

'Osborne was an instinctive writer, but he had genius in his early years for capturing the national mood and conveying undiluted feeling... one wonders whether any of the bright new talents will have the courage to do what Osborne did in the past: to encapsulate on the tiny stage the state of the nation at large.' Guardian

Praise for The Entertainer
'The rancid, dead-accurate domestic dialogue is a joy, with clichés dropping like bats from the ceiling... the play becomes a flamboyant coronach for England's lost greatness, enshrining one of the great characters in modern drama.' Daily Telegraph

'Like all Osborne's best work, this is a play about personal failure, individual desolation, the frustration of a community. One of the reasons why Osborne changed the face of English theatre is that he made passionate personal drama out of a national malaise.' Sunday Times

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About the author (1998)

John Osborne was born on December 12, 1929 in London, England. He was educated at Belmont College, Devon but was expelled after attacking the headmaster. He became involved in theatre, as a stage manager and then as an actor. He started writing plays and two of them, The Devil Inside Her and Personal Enemy, were staged in regional theatres before he submitted Look Back in Anger to the newly formed English Stage Company at London's Royal Court Theatre. The company chose the play as the third production to enter repertory. The play became a commercial success, transferring to the West End and to Broadway, and was later filmed with Richard Burton in the leading role. His other plays included The Entertainer, Luther, Inadmissible Evidence, A Patriot for Me, A Hotel in Amsterdam, A Sense of Detachment, and Deja Vu. He also wrote a number of screenplays, mainly adaptations of his own works. He won an Oscar for his 1963 adaptation of Tom Jones. He acted in a few films including Get Carter, Tomorrow Never Comes, and Flash Gordon. He also wrote two autobiographies entitled A Better Class of Person and Almost a Gentleman. He died from complications brought on from his diabetes on December 24, 1994 at the age of 65.

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