John Osborne has, through plays like Look Back in Anger and The Entertainer, become one of the greatest English playwrights (a lofty pantheon of writers, it has to be said). This year marks 60 years since Look Back in Anger debuted, and the Finborough has decided to celebrate by commissioning the first theatrical staging of A Subject of Scandal and Concern in 40 years, as well as the play’s London’s premiere.
Directed by Jimmy Walkters, A Subject of Scandal and Concern follows the travels of George Jacob Holyoake, a poor young teacher, making his way from Birmingham to Bristol to visit a friend who has been imprisoned for publishing a journal that criticises the establishment. When he makes a stop in Cheltenham to address a lecture, his words and his overwhelming commitment to speak the truth will change his life forever. Arrested and tried for blasphemy, and separated from his starving wife and child, Holyoake is faced with the choice of conforming or staying true to his beliefs in a time of injustice and intolerance.
The story was originally written for television, with Osborne’s script brought to life by Richard Burton and Rachel Roberts. It later transferred to the stage in Nottingham.
The show is presented by Proud Haddock, and will run from the 22nd May to the 7th June. More information here.