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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 new 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 premiered at the National in May 2004.
Alan Bennett has been one of our leading dramatists since Beyond the Fringe in the 1960s. His television series Talking Heads has become a modern-day classic. The History Boys won numerous awards both at the National Theatre, London, and on Broadway. Also at the NT: The Habit of Art, People and Cocktail Sticks. He received an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay for The Madness of King George, and appeared with Dame Maggie Smith in a radio adaptation of his The Lady in the Van. His collection of prose Untold Storieswon the PEN/Ackerley Prize for autobiography. Fiction includes The Uncommon Reader and Smut: Two Unseemly Stories. His most recent publication is Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin.