John Osborne: looking back at a rebel

The brilliant and controversial British playwright John Osborne was born on 12 December 1929. Possibly his most transformative work was his 1956 play Look Back in Anger. Despite being associated in his early life with left wing politics, he claimed to hold to no firm political views. In his later life he turned towards a libertarian right wing stance, To his eternal credit, Osborne openly questioned the existence of the monarchy in his contribution to a book called Declaration. This was in 1957, a far more deferential age than 2015 and it got him into trouble! The chairiman of the English Stage Company industrialist Neville Blond was furious and a party to celebrate the publication of Declaration at the Royal Court Theatre was cancelled. Ironically, the ESC was no stranger to controversy itself. But I completely agree with Osborne:

My objection to the royal symbol is that it is dead; it is the gold filling in a mouthful of decay.

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