'Epitaph for George Dillon absorbs and fascinates because it is that rarest of theatrical phenomena, a realistic modern drama which is not bourgeois in its underlying assumptions. It is like a familiar building caught at an angle which suddenly makes it look like something never seen before.' Harold Hobson, Sunday Times, 1958.
'Powerful, honest and transfixing.'
Kenneth Tynan, Observer, 1958
Epitaph for George Dillon premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 1958.
John Osborne was born in London in 1929. Before becoming a playwright he worked as a journalist, assistant stage manager and repertory theatre actor. Seeing an advertisement for new plays in The Stage in 1956, Osborne submitted Look Back in Anger. Not only was the play produced, but it was to become considered as the turning point in post-war British theatre. Osborne's protagonist, Jimmy Porter, captured the rebelliousness of an entire post-war generation of 'angry young men'. His other plays include The Entertainer (1957), Luther (1961), Inadmissible Evidence (1964), and A Patriot for Me (1966). He also wrote two volumes of autobiography, A Better Class of Person (1981) and Almost a Gentleman (1991) published together as Looking Back: Never Explain, Never Apologise. His last play, Deja Vu (1991), returns to the characters of Look Back in Anger, over thirty years later. Both Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer were adapted for film, and in 1963 Osborne won an Academy Award for his screenplay for Tom Jones. John Osborne died on 24 December 1994.