Look Back In Anger (2012) Theater
Benedict as protagonist Jimmy Porter in a rehearsed reading of one of Britain’s most important plays, Look Back in Anger.
|As part of the Playwrights’ Playwright season at the Royal Court Theatre a rehearsed reading of John Osborne’s Look Back In Anger took place on 06 July 2012 at the Duke of York’s Theatre. In addition to Benedict Cumberbatch, who played the role of the protagonist Jimmy Porter, the cast included Rebecca Hall (Alison Porter), Matt Ryan (Cliff Lewis), Anna Maxwell Martin (Helena Charles) and Julian Wadham (Colonel Redfern).
Look Back in Anger was written in 1955, and is still considered as one of the most important pieces of modern British theatre. First performed on 8 May 1956 at the Royal Court in London, it not only changed the nature of British theatre which was dominated by melodramas and secure middle class comedies until then, but it also introduced a new type of playwriting, one that still dominates the theatrical landscape today.
The idea of a rehearsed reading is easy. The cast had 24 hours to prepare, and then to perform a kind of read-through in front of spectators. No set, costumes, makeup or props, only the actors and the script.
Due to the nature of the play, the biggest challenge for the cast was to bring out the subtleties of the characters without a real physical performance, just through language and voice.