Playwright John Osborne celebrated with English Heritage blue plaque

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A blue plaque commemorating playwright John Osborne has been unveiled by English Heritage.

The plaque has been placed on the outside of 53 Caithness Road in Hammersmith – Osborne’s London home at the time he wrote his best-known work, Look Back in Anger, in 1956.

The play, which focuses on the marital struggles of an intelligent but disaffected young man, was based on his own experiences with his wife, Pamela Lane, in the same building.

53 Caithness Road, London (English Heritage/PA)
53 Caithness Road, London (English Heritage/PA)

Osborne, who died in 1994 aged 65, was known for his sharp prose and anti-establishment ideas, and Look Back in Anger played an important role in transforming post-Second World War theatre.

Playwright and director Sir David Hare paid tribute to his legacy.

He said: “John Osborne had the most sensational London debut of any playwright in the English language in the 20th century.

The blue plaque to John Osborne (English Heritage/PA)
The blue plaque to John Osborne (English Heritage/PA)

“It was John’s brilliance and originality which led so many to help relocate the theatre at the centre of Britain’s cultural and intellectual life. Everyone who followed owes him a debt.”

Alan Hollinghurst, novelist and English Heritage Blue Plaques Panel member, said: “John Osborne reinvigorated British theatre in the mid-20th century. Challenging and questioning the status quo, his brilliant plays attracted new audiences and inspired a whole new generation of screenwriters and playwrights.

“We are delighted to recognise the Hammersmith home where he lived around the time of writing the play that made him famous.”

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