The History Boys
From: Thursday, 20th December 2007
To: Saturday, 26 April 2008
Our Review: Your Reviews:
Search for tickets
Use the link below to search for The History Boys tickets on your desired date.
We're sorry, it seems that we do not currently sell tickets for this show. Please go directly to the box office.
A comic drama about adolescent schoolboys. A group of bright, funny sixth-form boys in pursuit of sex, sport and a place at university. A maverick English teacher at odds with the young and shrewd supply teacher. A headmaster obsessed with results, and a history teacher who thinks he's a fool.
8 January 2008
Nearly four years after Alan Bennett’s The History Boys premiered at the National Theatre, here it is again, as fresh, funny and stimulating as ever. In fact, Nicholas Hytner’s production, recreated by Paul Miller, is a vast improvement on the version we saw last January in the same theatre.
It moves along at a tremendous pace. The switches between filmed sequences and stage action are much snappier. And the overall “sideways on” performance of the cast is much better suited to Bennett’s sly script, which mixes supple arguments about the point and purpose of education with Wildean epigrams and scatological brio.
But mostly the difference is made by Desmond Barrit as Hector, the inspirational English teacher who wants the boys to find their own voices by appreciating those of the poets. As for Bennett, Hector’s chief exemplars are Auden, Larkin and AE Housman, and there are beautiful little critical asides as those reputations are weighed against He...
Latest User Review
David Baxter - 6 March 2008:
Revisiting The History Boys after 3 or 4 years is a welcome reminder of what an extraordinary play this is. For me, Desmond Barrit is the quintessential Hector, even better than Richard Griffiths, although I only saw him in the slightly disappointing film version. Barrit's Frankie Howerdesque flamboyance is perfect for the larger than life Hector, particularly set against the buttoned up Irwin. Elsewhere Elizabeth Bell and Tim Delap are exceptional as Dorothy and Irwin but David Mallinson is too buffoonish to be a wholly plausible headmaster. Daniel Fine is more effeminate than vulnerable as Posner and I have never really understood Dakin but the greatness of The History Boys lies in its' irrepressible humour, great sadness and the intellectual debate between learning and knowledge. One other niggle: when I sat the Oxbridge Entrance Exam in the 70s (like Irwin I failed miserably) it was in the first term of the Upper Sixth, before A-Levels not after. The History Boys is the best play of this century so far; why has nobody else reviewed this, go and see it soon before it finally disappears in April....
Desmond Barrit (Hector)
Elizabeth Bell (Mrs Lintott)
Tim Delap (Irwin)
David Mallinson (Headmaster)