One of Alan Bennett’s best known plays is to be bought to life in Northampton next month.
The History Boys is performed at the Playhouse Theatre and sees eight bright, funny history students in the mid 1980s who are pursuing an undergraduate place at the country’s two finest universities.
Their headmaster is obsessed with getting the boys into the illustrious Oxford and Cambridge and enlists Irwin, a shrewd newcomer, to coach them into intellectual shape.
Seduced though they are by the exam-busting bag of tricks offered by the temporary supply teacher, the boys are torn by their loyalty to the eccentric, poetry-spouting English master Hector and their regular diet of nourishing facts and figures dispensed by feminist Mrs Lintott, their history mistress. As they prepare for the daunting admissions process, the journey of the History Boys becomes as much about how education works as where education leads.
The History Boys’ premiered at the Royal National Theatre in London in 2004 with it transferring to Broadway two years later at the Broadhurst Theatre. The play has won multiple awards, including the 2005 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play, Best Director and Best Actor and the 2006 Tony Award for Best Play, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director to name but a few.
A film adaptation featuring many of the same cast and crew was released in 2006.
Director of the show Gary Amos said: “Rehearsals are a caper unto themselves with banter bouncing from every wall, no cast member un-grazed from the wrath of the boys and the most oddball ideas spring from the most random of places.
“Directing such beautiful chaos is unadulterated bliss that is more akin to playing in a school playground than the stiff rehearsal environment and the cast I have amassed from the wealth of Northamptonshire talent is impeccable and quite simply bonkers.
“I truly believe we have created a vibrant new vision that is eccentric, kinetic, flamboyant, hysterical, emotional, brash while also being highly intelligent and it is not to be missed.”
Tickets cost £9 for adults and £8 for concessions. It runs from Tuesday July 4 to Saturday July 8
For more details call 01604 627791 or visit www.theplayhousetheatre.net