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The History Boys

Alan Bennett

The History Boys by Alan Bennett is a hilarious drama that follows an unruly bunch of bright, funny boys in pursuit of sex, sport and a place at university.

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An unruly bunch 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; a history teacher who thinks he’s a fool.

In Alan Bennett’s classic play, staff room rivalry and the anarchy of adolescence provoke insistent questions about history and how you teach it; about education and its purpose.

The History Boys premièred at the National in May 2004.

Critic Reviews

Brilliantly funny, with lines that we will, I hope, be quoting for years to come and several show-stopping vignettes. Bennett is still naughty, impish, endlessly ironic. But by the end tears are as near as laughter. The History Boys is moving, disquieting: one follows it with a heart brimful.... This is Bennett's first play this millennium, and it more than repays the wait; I think it his finest work in decades.

Financial Times
Critic Reviews

One of our most considerable as well as one of our most enjoyable playwrights.

Times Literary Supplement
Critic Reviews

What makes Bennett remarkable is a linguistic spark, an unerring sense for the right word.


Alan Bennett has been one of our leading dramatists since the success of Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. His television series Talking Heads has become a modern-day classic, as have many of his works for the stage including Forty Years On, The Lady in the Van (together with the screenplay), A Question of Attribution, The Madness of George III (together with the Oscar-nominated screenplay The Madness of King George), and…

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