Open main menu

Inadmissible Evidence is a play written by John Osborne in 1964. It was also filmed in 1968.

Inadmissible Evidence
Inadmissible Evidence (play).jpg
Faber and Faber first edition, 1965
Written byJohn Osborne
Date premieredSeptember 9, 1964 (1964-09-09)
Place premieredRoyal Court Theatre, London
Original languageEnglish
SettingThe present. A solicitor's office in East London.

The protagonist of the play is William Maitland, a 39-year-old English solicitor who has come to hate his entire life. Much of the play consists of lengthy monologues in which Maitland tells the audience about his life, a life he now regards as an utter failure. He readily acknowledges that he is bored with his wife and children, and just as bored by the petty, meaningless love affairs he's been carrying on with other women. His career revolves around sordid divorce cases, and he's come to despise both his clients and his colleagues. Maitland drinks heavily, and enjoys bullying and insulting everyone he comes into contact with.[1]

In Act One, like a prosecutor presenting a case, Maitland brutally shows the audience the utter despair and mediocrity of his life. In Act Two, Maitland's crimes receive their due punishment, as he is deserted by everyone he ever cared about, including his clerk, his mistress and his wife. At times the play uses the technique of intercut monologues, which are arranged like dialogue but involve no communication between the characters.

The role of Maitland was created by Nicol Williamson who played the role in Anthony Page's original Royal Court production, in its Broadway debut, and in the 1968 movie version.[2] In 1965 the play transferred to Wyndham's Theatre in London's West End. Williamson played Maitland, with John Hurt as Jones, Cyril Raymond as Hudson, Clare Kelly as Joy, and Eleanor Fazan as Liz.[3]

Original Royal Court castEdit

Film adaptationEdit

In 1968 the play was made into a film by the play's director Anthony Page, and starring Nicol Williamson, Eleanor Fazan and Jill Bennett.[4]


  1. ^ Heilpern, John (October 21, 2011). "Inadmissible Evidence – John Osborne's most personal play" – via
  2. ^ "Arts: Gone to ground: In the Sixties he was a superstar - the Hamlet". The Independent. June 6, 1993.
  3. ^ a b Osborne, John (October 20, 2011). "Inadmissible Evidence". Faber & Faber – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Inadmissible Evidence (1968)". BFI.

External linksEdit