After conquering Broadway and the big screen, the National Theatre’s multi award-winning stage production of Alan Bennett’s The History Boys has returned to London, at last receiving its West End premiere last night (3 January 2007, previews from 21 December) at Wyndham’s Theatre (See News, 2 Oct 2006).

Set in the 1980s, The History Boys questions the purpose and means of education. In a school where the headmaster cares only about exam results, a bunch of excitable sixth-form boys go about their pursuit of the important things: sex, sport and a university place.

TO SCROLL THROUGH ALL OF THE HISTORY BOYS 1st NIGHT PHOTOS,
JUST CLICK ON THE "NEXT >" LINKS BELOW THE FOLLOWING FRAME.

Since its premiere at the National on 18 May 2004, The History Boys’ myriad awards to date have included: Best Play at the Evening Standard and Critics’ Circle Awards, Best New Play at the Olivier Awards, Best New Comedy at the Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Awards and, in New York, no fewer than six Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Direction of a Play.

In the current cast, seen on the road last year for the play’s second major UK tour, Stephen Moore plays unconventional English teacher Hector (originated on stage and screen Richard Griffiths), with Isla Blair (as Mrs Lintott), William Chubb (as the Headmaster) and Orlando Wells (as Irwin). The boys are played by Owain Arthur (Timms), Ben Barnes (Dakin), Philip Correia (Rudge), Marc Elliott (Akthar), Thomas Morrison (Scripps), Akemnji Ndifornyen (Crowther), David Poynor (Lockwood) and Steven Webb (Posner).

For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand for the curtain call at Wyndham’s and the post-show party at One Aldwych, along with the company, NT artistic director Nicholas Hytner (whose original direction of the play has been recreated by Simon Cox) and guests including Edward Fox, Carole Caplin, Cameron Mackintosh, Chris New, Michael Pennington, Oliver Milburn, Desmond Barrit (who played Hector in the first UK tour), Susannah York (mother of Orlando Wells) and Julian and Jamie Glover (husband and son of Isla Blair).

- by Terri Paddock