But despite the plot's shortcomings (which were recognised even by such a fierce admirer as Tynan), it still has the power to startle.
There was an audible intake of breath from the audience when Jimmy fell into Helena's arms.
Thanks to a fine performance from William Gaunt the sympathy felt by Colonel Redfern, Alison's father, for Jimmy came as a revelation, but still totally understandable within the framework of the play.
The language, too, still has the power to shock, such as when Jimmy, unaware of Alison's pregnancy, says to her: “If only something—something would happen to you, and wake you out of your beauty sleep! Let it grow, let a recognisable human face emerge from that little mass of India rubber and wrinkles. I wonder if you might even become a recognisable human being yourself.
The play The three-act play takes place in a one-bedroom flat in the Midlands.
Jimmy Porter, lower middle-class, university-educated, lives with his wife Alison, the daughter of a retired Colonel in the British Army in India.
As soon as she has gone, Helena moves in with Jimmy. Helena can no longer stand living with Jimmy and leaves.
Finally Alison returns to Jimmy and his angry life.
Some of the imagery and language doesn't travel too well historically and reflects only the preoccupations of the era.
It is difficult, for example, to imagine jazz being quite as exotic as it is for Jimmy.