The History Boys: A Sold-out Hit

2006

The History Boys is about staff room rivalry, the anarchy of adolescence, and the purpose of education.

The best play of the season has landed on Broadway: Alan Bennett’s THE HISTORY BOYS.

A hugely successful, sold-out hit at the National Theatre of Great Britain, this brilliant comedy has just arrived here, featuring the inspired original British cast. And the New York critics have declared it an absolute winner.

A very funny and deeply moving play, THE HISTORY BOYS is about eight bright, funny students trying to get into college… and the year that influenced the rest of their lives. An unorthodox teacher (Stephen Campbell Moore) and his colleagues (Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour) at a British grammar school try to prepare gifted young charges for the upcoming Oxford and Cambridge entrance exams. The students absorb the facts and figures thrown at them by academia, and in the process, they also learn a little about life.

Awards

 

WINNER! 6 TONY AWARDS
Best Play
Best Performance by a Leading Actor, Richard Griffiths
Best Performance by a Featured Actress, Frances de la Tour
Best Direction, Nicholas Hytner
Best Scenic Design, Bob Crowley
Best Lighting Design, Mark Henderson

WINNER! 5 Drama Desk Awards 
Outstanding Play
Outstanding Actor in a Play, Richard Griffiths
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, Samuel Barnett
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, Frances de la Tour
Outstanding Director of a Play, Nicholas Hytner

WINNER! 4 Outer Critics Circle Awards 
Outstanding Broadway Play
Outstanding Director of a Play, Nicholas Hytner
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play, Richard Griffiths
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play, Frances de la Tour

WINNER! NY Drama Critics Circle Award 
Best Play of the 2005-2006 Broadway Season

WINNER! Drama League Award 
Source: Playbill.com
The History Boys received the 2006 Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Play.

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REVIEWS

"MADLY ENJOYABLE AND ENTHRALLING, with a seductive polish that New York audiences have seldom experienced of late. Alan Bennett's dialogue is AS SHIMMERING AND WARMING AS A FINE COGNAC. And EVERY MEMBER OF THE CAST STANDS OUT as an individual worthy of attention. PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE SHOULD FALL FOR THE CHARM OF 'THE HISTORY BOYS."

***

"Richard Griffiths is extraordinary in the role of his lifetime. And the terrific Francis de la Tour is perfect. The actors give the entire evening a credibility that is positively amazing. Hytner has directed with dazzling ease."

- Clive Barnes, New York Post

***

"BRILLIANT! A reminder of how ENTERTAINING, STIMULATING AND EXHILARATING THEATER CAN BE!"

- Howard Kissel, Daily News

***

"CRACKLING, MIRACULOUS THEATER. Moving and intellectually extravagant, Nicholas Hytner 's production is BRILLIANT. Richard Griffiths gives a performance of STAGGERING GRACE."

- Linda Winer, Newsday

***

"A THOUGHTFUL, COMPASSIONATE PLAY with a lively, tightly meshed crew of actors. Frances de la Tour is MARVELOUS. High school kids are likely to be absorbed as much as adults by the story. They even may learn a thing or two."

- Michael Sommers, The Star-Ledger

***

"A captivating, deeply satisfying work from the peerless Alan Bennett. Nicholas Hytner 's SUPERB production is alive with energy, comedy and wit. Richard Griffith 's finely wrought performance is ILLUMINATING. Frances de la Tour is SUBLIME."

- David Rooney, Variety

***

"'THE HISTORY BOYS' EARNS ALL A'S! BRACINGLY SMART. Alan Bennett has pulled off that rarest of feats, a comedy both devilishly entertaining and true to the heart. Richard Griffiths is delivering one of those remarkable performances that render actor and character indivisible. Frances de la Tour is SUPERB."

- Peter Marks, Washington Post

***

"GENIUS AT WORK! Smart, funny, touching and true, with an enormously gifted cast. IT IS THE PLAY YOU MUST SEE IF YOU SEE NOTHING ELSE ON BROADWAY THIS SPRING. A vibrant, non-stop dramatic package that won't soon leave your mind. IT IS THE SEASON'S ONLY ESSENTIAL PLAY!" 

- Jacques le Sourd, The Journal News

***

"AS WITTY, INTELLIGENT AND FUNNY AN EVENING OF THEATER AS YOU'RE LIKELY TO SEE ALL SEASON! IT'S A JOY!"

- Jeffrey Lyons, WNBC-TV

***

"GRIPPING AND FASCINATING. A funny, touching and eloquent play about the meaning of education. EXTRAORDINARILY BRIGHT AND COMPLETELY ENGAGING, managing the trick of connecting to the brain, the heart and the funny bone. In Nicholas Hytner's IMPECCABLE production, Richard Griffiths is SUPERB. And the delicious Frances de la Tour give THE DROLLEST PERFORMANCE YOU'LL EVER SEE!"

- Robert Feldberg, The Record

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