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Looking back at Godot

Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, and not John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, was the greatest mid-century influence on British theatre

By David Nathan   July 1997

With Peter Hall’s return after 42 years to Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot the time has come to rewrite stage history and displace John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger as the most significant mid-century influence on the British theatre. There is a strong case to be made that Waiting for Godot, which opened at the Arts Theatre in August 1955, has had a deeper and more lasting effect than Look Back in Anger, which opened at the Royal Court in May 1956.

Hall is right in describing Look Back as a period piece while Godot is a masterpiece. Like Look…

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