Epitaph For George DillonBy John Osborne and Anthony Creighton
Directed by William Gaskill
The English Stage Company
John Golden Theatre, New York - Opened 4th November 1958
Following a one week Pre-Broadway try-out (October 13th, 1958) at Ford's Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland the production opened on November 4th, 1958 at the John Golden Theatre in New York City and run for 23 performances before closing for the holidays. The play would reopen January 12th, 1959 at New York's Henry Miller's Theatre and run for an additional 48 performances. Despite mixed notices it received 3 Tony Award nominations for best: Actor, Director and Play.
Wendy Craig ... Josie Elliot
Felix Deebank ... Barney Evans
Avril Elgar ... Norah Elliot
Frank Finlay ... Percy Elliot
Eileen Herlie ... Ruth Gray
Alison Leggatt ... Mrs. Elliot
Robert Stephens ... George Dillon
James Valentine ... Geoffrey Colwyn-Stuart
David Vaughan ... Mr Webb
Epitaph for George Dillon is an early John Osborne play, one of two he wrote in collaboration with Anthony Creighton (the other is Personal Enemy). It was written before Look Back in Anger, the play which made Osborne's career, but opened a year after in Oxford in 1957.
The play tells the story of Kate Elliot's unhappy suburban South London family and the domestic havoc wrought when she decides to adopt George Dillon as a surrogate son.
It tackles typical Osborne themes, including religion (and Osborne's hatred thereof), vegetarianism, the casual deception of everyday life and scorn of the theatre. In common with Jimmy Porter in Look Back in Anger, George Dillon is an intelligent man unable find his place in the world.
There was a successful West End revival of the play in 2005 directed by Peter Gill and starring Joseph Fiennes, Francesca Annis and Anne Reid.