Tuesday, July 25, 2006

1956, The Magic Year... Let's "Look Back in Anger"

I was doing some research to try and see just how many productions of David Auburn's Proof are going on at any one time, when I suddenly discovered Doollee.com.

Doollee, is an interesting non-profit site that has a very searchable index of plays, plays playwrights, literary agents.

It's mission is interesting, if only for its seemingly arbitrary cut-off date.

1956 is the year Soviet Troops marched into Hungary, I Love Lucy was the #1 show on TV, Diary of Anne Frank (Sans Natalie Portman) was on Broadway, Edwin O'Connor's The Last Hurrah sat around the the top of the Best Seller lists, and The Searchers was #10 at the Box Office, (with John Ford probably never imagining the critical stir it would create years later.)

1956 is also that year that Doollee starts its cataloguing of playwrights:

Doollee is an online database of playwrights and theatre plays. As an ongoing project we aim to list every play written or produced in English since 1956, the year John Osborne's seminal play Look Back in Anger was first performed at the Royal Court in London. As a general rule of thumb, if you are a playwright who has had at least one play written or produced in English since 1956 then you are eligible for inclusion on the site. Doollee will then happily list the details of every other play you have written even if it is unpublished, unproduced, or was written before 1956.


I am fascinated by this cutoff. It seems to make some sense, but are those Angry Young Man plays really the start of such a revolution on the stage?

There is a brief outline of the first production of Look Back in Anger at Wikipedia.

Well, if anybody knows exactly how many productions of Proof are going on around the country, (not just Lort B,) please let me know. Currently, just in this area, we have had two.

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