Casting and further dates are announced today for Alan Bennett’s multi award-winning The History Boys, which will return in 2015 in a major new UK Tour, opening at the Palace Theatre, Southend on Monday 26th January 2015.
The cast features Richard Hope as Hector, Kedar Williams-Stirling as Dakin, Steven Roberts as Posner, Christopher Ettridge as Headmaster, Mark Field as Irwin, Susan Twist as Mrs Lintott, Sid Sagar as Akthar, Matthew Durkan as Crowther, Patrick McNamee as Lockwood, David Young as Rudge, Alex Hope as Scripps, Joshua Mayes-Cooper as Timms, Chris Barritt as TV Director and Melody Brown as Fiona.
The tour is also extended to include new dates in Winchester, Windsor, Buxton, Darlington, and Guildford.
Winner of more than 30 major awards including the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best New Play, The History Boys is the story of a group of bright, funny and unruly sixth-formers in pursuit of sex, sport and a place at university. Their maverick English teacher is at odds with the young and shrewd supply teacher, whilst their headmaster is obsessed with results and league tables. Staffroom rivalry and the anarchy of adolescence overflow, provoking insistent questions about history and how you teach it. Their A Levels may be over, but their true education is only just beginning. Widely hailed as one of the greatest theatrical events of the last decade, The History Boys is an hilariously funny and exceptionally moving play about the true purpose of education.
Alan Bennett’s comic masterpiece was voted the nations favourite play in a recent national survey conducted by English Touring Theatre to celebrate their 21st birthday. English Touring Theatre are delighted to be able to support the winning play by giving away 100 pairs of free tickets to The History Boys throughout the 2015 tour. As part of their commitment to growing audiences and increasing access to regional theatre, applications are open to anyone who has never attending their local theatre before. For more information on how to apply, visit http://www.ett.org.uk/21-birthday/the-history-boys.
The History Boys premiered at the National Theatre in 2004 directed by Nicholas Hytner, and helped launch the careers of many of its original cast members including James Corden and Dominic Cooper. It went on to open on Broadway in 2006, with a film adaptation featuring the original stage cast released later that year. The History Boys also had two successful West End runs, playing at the Wyndham’s Theatre in 2007 and 2008, and has won countless awards including the Oliver Award for Best New Play, Tony Award for Best Play, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play and Evening Standard Award for Best Play.
Alan Bennett is one of the UK’s most celebrated playwrights and authors, and in a career that spans five decades has created many acclaimed works for theatre, television and film. His work for the stage includes People, Hymn and Cocktail Sticks, The Habit of Art, Talking Heads, The Madness of George III and Kafka’s Dick. Prior to his work as a playwright, Bennett enjoyed enormous success as a co-writer and performer of Beyond the Fringe, a comedy stage revue which played in the West End and on Broadway in the 1960s. At the 2005 Olivier Awards Bennett was awarded the Society Special Award for his contribution to theatre.
This new production for 2015 is presented by Sell a Door Theatre Company, whose recent productions include Avenue Q (2014 UK Tour), Spring Awakening (2011 UK Tour) and Seussical (West End).
The History Boys will be directed by Kate Saxon, whose credits include The Real Thing (West Yorkshire Playhouse); Far From The Madding Crowd (English Touring Theatre); Nine Parts of Desire (The Public, New York and The Wilma, Philadelphia – winner of 3 Barrymore awards in USA); and the World Premiere of The French Lieutenant’s Woman (Fulton Opera House, USA then British Premiere Tour). Kate has developed new work for The Royal Court, The Bush, Arcola, Hampstead Theatre and The Public, New York. Kate was Associate Director of Shared Experience from 2000 – 2012. For television, Kate directs Eastenders.
The History Boys will be designed by Libby Watson with lighting design by Chris Davey, sound design by Matt Eaton and musical direction by Catherine Jayes.
Wednesday 3rd December 2014