Past Productions‎ > ‎2016‎ > ‎

The History Boys

Author: Alan Bennett
Director: Joy Hellyer and Paul Kay
Production Dates: 29 June - 09 July 2016
The Play

This modern classic won both the Olivier and Tony awards for best play in the mid-2000's.It was voted England's favourite play in 2013. The original National Theatre production toured Wellington in 2006, but it was staged at the vast St James Theatre and Richard Griffiths, who played the role of Hector, refused to wear a microphone which generated a host of complaints about audibility. We are delighted to be able to now stage this play in a size-appropriate venue.

The Plot

The History Boys is largely set in an English grammar school in the early-1980s. It is a multi-themed play about theories of education, issues of adolescence, issues of adults and of course history.  


It concerns a class of bright boys (aged 18 to 19) who are sitting Oxbridge entrance exams. The boys have a range of abilities and personalities, from the high-spirited to the meek and thoughtful. No pupil has got into Oxford or Cambridge from the school in recent history but the ambitious headmaster is keen for this to change. There are three teachers tasked with getting the boys through the process and they all have vastly different takes on education methods and also the meaning and significance of history.


There are many fascinating academic themes and theories debated within the play but there is also plenty of lower-brow silliness and quotes, songs, and acting out scenes from famous movies.  However, like all great Alan Bennett plays, it is the characters and their various relationships coupled with cracking dialogue which really gives the play its heart. There are also some serious conflicts and struggles around the sexuality of some of the students and teachers. 


The play manages to be a lovely mixture of drama, comedy and a little sadness.

The Cast

LINTOTTJulia Harris
HECTORPat McCarthy 
IRWINGreg Robins
FELIX David Cox 
POSNERDaniel Botha
DAKIN Peter Rogers
AKTHARParas Khanna
SCRIPPSDavid Young
RUDGESean Pickersgill
TIMMSLuke Baron

Last Edited 13 July 2016