The Herald on Look Back in Anger


Look Back In Anger, Calton Centre

SARA VILLIERS

The Herald, Monday 14 August 1995

JIMMY Porter, John Osborne’s iconoclastic angry young man, is given a right going-over in Frantic Theatre Company’s inspired interpretation.

Fracturing the text, self-consciously referring to stage directions and introducing physical sequences at odds with the sentiments spoken — the archetypal victim Alison Porter transformed into a powerful, disdainful manipulator — Frantic’s physical theatre approach undermines Jimmy at every turn.
While he rants and rails, Alison, Cliff, and Helena literally dance rings around him, smirking at his spleen. However, this is no lampoon but ingenious subversion. Frantic stretch the structure of the play but never puncture its heart. Jimmy retains his fierce dignity and power. Magnificent theatre which elides innovation with convention — the ironing board as icon — to mesmeric effect.