The Entertainer (play)
The Entertainer is a three-act play by John Osborne, first produced in 1957. His first play, Look Back in Anger, had attracted mixed notices but a great deal of publicity. Having depicted an "angry young man" in the earlier play, Osborne wrote at Laurence Olivier's request about an angry middle-aged man in The Entertainer. Its main character is Archie Rice, a failing music-hall performer. Years later, Tony Richardson, who directed The Entertainer's premiere season, described Archie as "the embodiment of a national mood ... Archie was the future, the decline, the sourness, the ashes of old glory, where Britain was heading." The first performance was given on 10 April 1957 at the Royal Court Theatre, London. That theatre was known for its commitment to new and non-traditional drama, and the inclusion of a West End star such as Olivier in the cast caused much interest.