Jimmy Porter is a very angry young man. Despite the promise of a brave new world in the wake of World War Two, Britain seems to have retreated to the safe, stifling class system and values that regulated his society in the ‘golden days’ before the war. Desperate to fight for something but lacking a cause, all his passion and fire turns into bitterness; against himself and the world around him.
A modern classic, Osborne’s play tells the story of Jimmy, his vulnerable wife Alison and their mellow neighbour Cliff. Existing in an uneasy détente, their fragile relationship splinters and fractures with the arrival of Helena, Alison’s glamorous friend. Her visit causes them all to question their beliefs and values, exposing the disaffection and disappointment with Britain’s ‘brave new world’.
There’s a sketch from That Mitchell and Webb Look where an author is given some advice by his editor, whose increasingly ludicrous suggestions are always sufficed with ‘Not this, but better’. I’m sure the Look Back designers can now empathise with the long-suffering author; their considerable talent and patience is evident in the way they have turned my very vague design brief into the world you see onstage tonight. My first thank you is to our design team – James, Ben, Elisa and James, thank you for your hard work and beautiful designs!
Thank you to the cast and crew, who have brought these designs and ideas so beautifully to life. Your enthusiasm, talent and determination to push yourselves and your abilities to their limits have been a constant inspiration, and certainly very humbling to me. To those on the outside of the rehearsal process looking in, to our fantastic new committee, to everyone who stopped to ask me how it was going and plied me with gin – thank you. Everyone involved in this process needs a support network and I have been incredibly lucky to have one made up of all you!
Finally, my production team. What can I say? You’ve dealt with everything I, Osborne and life can general can throw at you with aplomb, plenty of banter and a determination to not only see things through but make them as excellent as possible. Dan, Emma, Sarah and Jess – for all your ideas, for doing early morning pit runs, for doing late night drinking sessions and for saying yes in the first place, thank you.
Jimmy – Dominic Corfield
Alison – Danielle Patrick
Cliff – Mike Edwardson
Helena – Kate Butler
Colonel Redfern – Tom McMahon
Director – Mel Harrison
Production Manager – Dan Turner
Stage Manager – Jess Paetz
Producers – Sarah Balchin, Emma Beverley
Lighting Designer – James Williamson
Sound Designer – Ben Dornan
Set Designer – James Donnelly
Costume – Elisa Santos
Lighting Operator – Jack McFarlane-Shopes
Sound Operator – Amelia Jones
Publicity material by Stuart Gresham
Rehearsal photography by Jim Olphert
SuTCo AUTUMN SEASON 2011 AWARDS
Best Actress – Kate Butler
Best Newcomer – Mike Edwardson