The History Boys - New Wolsey Theatre

The History Boys

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Tour Trailer

Meet The Cast

Back To School With The Director

Building The Set

Presented by David Hutchinson and Phillip Rowntree for Sell A Door.

By Alan Bennett

"Pass it on boys... that's the game I wanted you to learn... pass it on"

Called “One of the finest plays Alan Bennett has ever written” by the Daily Telegraph, The History Boys opened at the National Theatre in 2004 to rave reviews and a sell-out run and went on became one of their biggest ever hits, winning over 30 major awards including the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best New Play. In a recent national survey this comic masterpiece was voted the nation’s favourite play.

Set in the 1980's, 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.

This brand new production, from the producers of Avenue Q, Spring Awakening (UK Tours) and Seussical (West End), is an hilariously funny and exceptionally moving play about the true purpose of education. This national treasure has proved to be the perfect night at the theatre.

Alan Bennett has been a household name for more than forty years. His numerous plays include Enjoy, The Madness of George III, Single Spies, Talking Heads and The Lady in the Van.

“Blissfully funny… In short, a superb, life-enhancing play” - **** Guardian

Cast & Creatives

Christopher Ettridge — Headmaster

Film includes: Hitler: the Rise of Evil (Von Schleicher), Dog-Days, I Capture The Castle, Kevin and Perry, Esther Queen of Persia, Warburg (Hartley), The Chain (Sid Thomas)

Television includes: Julius Caesar (Appolonius), A is for Acid (Steven Rogers), Eastenders (Graham), Doctors, Worst Witch, Goodnight Sweetheart (PC Deadman), Bramwell, The Old Curiosity Shop, The Decent Thing, Harry, Hard Times, Casualty, Boot Street Band, Minder, Goodbye Columbus, The Bill, Love Hurts, Rag Doll, Death is Part of the Process, The Glory Boys, Anthony and Cleopatra

Theatre includes: Twelve Angry Men (Juror 11), Middlemarch (Brooke/Bulstrode), To Kill a Mockingbird (Mr Cunningham/Judge Taylor), Heather Gardner (Peregrine Brand), Medea (Carter), Bedroom Farce (Ernest), Cardenio/TheCityMadam/MaratSade (Duke/ Holdfast), Death of a Salesman (Uncle Ben), Heroes (Philippe), His Dark Materials (Lord Boreal), Hapgood (Paul Blair), The Grouch (Lord Arne), Travels with my Aunt The White Devil (Monticelso), Talking to Terrorists (Norman Tebbit), Democracy (Nollau), Dinner, Henry VI Parts I, II + III Richard III, The Rivals, Dreaming, About the Boy/Bluebird, One More Wasted Year, Stranger’s House, Serving it Up, Three Birds Alighting on a Field, Colquhoun and McBride, Some Singing Blood, Lady from the Sea, The Shape of the Table, The Man Who Had All the Luck, Twelfth Night, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Bartholomew Fair, Trumpets and Raspberries, The Ice Chimney (One man show—Fringe First at Edinburgh), Cherry Orchard, The Strongest Man in the World

Radio includes: Number 10, Basil, Up The Khyber Path (all BBC Radio)

Mark Field — Irwin

Theatre Credits Include: The Conquest of the South Pole (Rose Theatre Kingston & Arcola Director: Stephen Unwin), The Grapes of Wrath (Chichester Festival Theatre & ETT Director: Jonathan Church), An Inspector Calls (PW & NT International Director: Stephen Daldry), The Critic (Chichester Minerva Theatre Director: Sean Foley), Vincent River (West End & New York Director: Steve Marmion), Mad Funny Just (Theatre 503,) The Revenger’s Tragedy & Henry V (ORL), 24 Hour Plays (Old Vic Theatre)

Film, Television and Radio Credits Include: Brideshead Revisited (Miramax), Lawn of the Dead (Curve Films), Model Planes (FFFilms), Jack Malchance (Instant Film), How Not to Live Your Life (BBC Television), Doctors (BBC) Doctor Who (BBC Radio)

Theatre and Film Directing Credits Include: August Osage County (Bancroft Theatre) Tartuffe (BSA) Model Planes (FFFilms) Are You OK (London Film Collective)

Mark has won the Alan Bates Award, the Old Vic New Voices Award and been nominated best actor at the Off West End Awards. He is also is a guest Tutor at RADA, Mountview, BSA and LAMDA.

Richard Hope — Hector

Richard trained with the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. He is an Associate Member of Complicite and has worked with many other theatre companies including the National, RSC, Shared Experience, Shakespeare's Globe and Jerome Savary’s ‘Le Grand Magic Circus’.

Recently he played Queen Elizabeth I in the UK premiere of 'Orlando' at Manchester Royal Exchange and he joined City of London Sinfonia for Mendelssohn’s ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ and Shostakovich's ‘Hamlet’. In 2012 he was Horst Ehmke in 'Democracy’ (Sheffield and Old Vic London) and Albany in 'King Lear' (Almeida). Richard played Levin and was Associate Director for Shared Experience’s UK and World tours of ‘Anna Karenina'. He was Pierre in 'War and Peace' at the National Theatre London. He played Max Kellerman in the West End stage show of 'Dirty Dancing'. He was Ford Prefect in the first stage production of 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' with the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool: He also appeared in their 24 hour epic 'The Warp'.

Richard has many TV and film credits including 'Brideshead Revisited', 'Poirot', 'Midsomer Murders', 'Foyle's War', 'Piece of Cake', 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' and 'Bellman and True'. He is Malohkeh, the Silurian, in ‘Dr Who’. Most recently he appeared in ‘The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies’ and he plays Harris Pascoe in the new tv series of ‘Poldark’.

Susan Twist — Mrs Lintott

Television/Film includes: Scott and Bailey, Being Eileen, In The Flesh, Doctors, See No Evil, The Royal, The Bill, Coronation Street, A Good Thief, Always and Everyone, Reckless, Time Treasures, Brookside (series regular)

Theatre includes: Hobson’s Choice, Abandoned Places, Ugly Duck, The Market, Ballroom Blitz, The Daughter In Law, Love on the Dole, A Streetcar Named Desire, Much Ado About Nothing, Hercules, And Did Those Feet, The Good Soul of Szechuan, Everybody Loves a Winner, Brassed Off, Touched, The Crucible, A Conversation, Pretend You Have Big Buildings, Heartbreak House, My Own Show, The Price, Cinderella, Summer Shorts, Miss Yesterday, Soap/Fields of Gold, Coming Around Again, Brighton Beach Memoirs, East is East, April in Paris, Beautiful Thing, Second from Last in The Sack Race, The Snow Queen

Radio and Voiceover includes: Many BBC Radio, J Walter Thompson & Biteback Productions

Matthew Durkan — Crowther

Before pursuing a career as an Actor, Matthew studied Mathematics at the University of Manchester and then went on to work for the accountancy firm Ernst & Young for three years.

Matthew is a keen musician. He has sung with the Hallé Choir on various occasions and spent three years playing guitar and gigging with the band, Romanov. Other passions include tennis and football and he has long been an avid Manchester United fan.

Theatre credits include: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Old Vic), Nell Gwynn (Apollo Theatre),Kiki's Delivery Service(Southwark Playhouse),The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe (Sherman Theatre), The History Boys (UK Tour).

Television credits include: #HoodDocumentary (BBC).

Alex Hope — Scripps

Alex graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama last year. Alex recently played Phillip in First Episode at the Jermyn Street Theatre.

Theatre includes: First Episode (Jermyn Street Theatre), The Witness (Thrive Theatre), Riot Squat (Thrive Theatre)

Film/TV/Radio includes: August 1914 (BBC)

In Training includes: You Can’t Take It With You, Spring Awakening, Epsom Downs, Twelfth Night, Thebans, Tracy, A Chorus of Disapproval, The Lower Depths, Love’s Labours’ Lost

Joshua Mayes-Cooper — Timms

Joshua Mayes-Cooper graduated from LAMDA in 2011. Since then has worked regularly in TV, film and theatre.

Previous TV credits include Silk (BBC), Holby (BBC), Doctors (BBC) and he recently shot the US series Outlander (Starz).

Theatre includes the UK tour of Chapel Street and he received rave reviews for his performance in Operation Crucible (Finborough Theatre).

Patrick McNamee — Lockwood

Patrick has just graduated from LAMDA, this is his professional theatre debut.

Television: Inspector George Gently

In Training: Sweeney Todd, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, A Few Good Men, Love and a Bottle, The Way of the World, Three Sisters, Hamlet.

Steven Roberts — Posner

After a career as a young performer while studying at Sylvia Young Theatre School, Steven trained at Arts Educational Schools London. On graduating in 2011 Steven was cast as the regular character of George Smith in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, a role he played for three years. The History Boys marks his professional stage debut.

Film/TV/Radio includes: Hollyoaks

Sid Sagar — Akthar

Theatre credits include: True Brits (HighTide/Bush Theatre/Assembly Hall, Edinburgh); Eternal Love (ETT/Shakespeare's Globe); The Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare's Globe); Orpheus and Eurydice (National Youth Theatre/Old Vic Tunnels).

Television credits include: The Hollow Crown - Richard III (BBC); The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies (ITV).

Film credits include: Karma Magnet (Black & Blue Films).

Rehearsed Readings include: Chicken (Bristol Old Vic); Homecoming (Bristol Old Vic); National Theatre's Connections Festival (National Theatre); Listen To Me (Unicorn Theatre).

Kedar Williams-Stirling — Dakin

Kedar’s career started at a very young age and has continued through the years on stage as well as on screen in film and television.

Theatre credits includes: Clay in Dutchman (The Crate); Scud in Welcome to Thebes (The National Theatre); Philip in Big White Fog (The Almeida); Young Simba in The Lion King (The Lyceum)

Film and television credits includes: Tom in Wolfblood ( BBC, 3 Series); Lorenzo in Montana (Dir: Mo Ali); Junior in Shank (Dir: Mo Ali); Richard Cole in Doctors (BBC); Levi in Silent Witness (BBC); Aide in The Bill (Thames Television)

David Young — Rudge

David has just graduated from LAMDA and is making his professional theatre debut in The History Boys.

For LAMDA: Includes - Attempts on Her Life, The School of Night (Moscow Tour), The Revenger’s Tragedy, Sweeney Todd, A Few Good Men, Strivers, Cymbeline, Three Sisters, The Way of the World, Orestes, The Duchess of Malfi, For Services Rendered, Iona Rain.

Film: Includes - The Show (Phoenix Film Productions, directed by James Alexandrou), State Zero (Short, directed by Andrée Wallin), Every Eight Minutes (LAMDA Films, directed by Tom Shkolnik).

Television: Includes - Downton Abbey.

Chris Barritt — TV Director

Chris trained at LAMDA.

Theatre credits include: The Misanthrope (Comedy), Blue/Orange (Wimbledon) Otherwise Engaged (Criterion), The Birthday Party (Duchess), See You Next Tuesday (Albery), She Stoops To Conquer/A Laughing Matter (National Theatre), Feelgood (Garrick), The Lady In The Van (Queen’s), Dead Funny (Vaudeville), Arcadia (Haymarket), Run For Your Wife and Move Over Mrs Markham (Olympia Theatre, Dublin), Candida ( Gate Theatre, Dublin), Othello and Love’s Labours’ Lost (Regents Park Theatre), The Miser, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Julius Caesar, The Importance Of Being Earnest, Zoo Story (Belfast). Basket Case, Maurice's Jubilee, The Dishwashers (National Tours).

Television and Radio include: Dream Team (Sky), Emmerdale (Yorkshire), Remington Steele (MTV), The Scar (Channel 4), Brien Friel Profile (BBC), Pravda, Night Falls On The City (Radio4), Zoo Story (Radio Ulster) and music video Promises with Nero.

Films include: A Wedding Most Strange, The Last Ten and Paranormal.

Melody Brown — Fiona

Melody recently appeared as Karen in Gary Owen’s Free Folk for Forest Forge. She worked with Kate Saxon on the title role of Bubbles for the Watermill Theatre. Melody played Ariel in The Tempest for the Marlowe Theatre and Chalkfoot, and she devised and performed the role of Orange Juice in Twisting Yarn’s epic tour of Life of Pi. Melody has also worked with Pilot Theatre, Freakshow, Yellow Earth, Mu Lan, Southwark Playhouse, Cardboard Citizens, Border Crossings and London Bubble. She trained at Manchester Polytechnic School of Theatre and plays bass in the legendary Eurasian electro-acoustic power trio, Wondermare.

Reviews of The History Boys

What the press say

★★★★ A vivid, propulsive rendering of a 21st century classic

The Times


What's On Stage

What the public say

Brilliant! Superb acting, absolutely gripped from the first moment. Loved it, loved it, loved it!

Elaine Horne

We watched the much acclaimed 'History Boys'. Acting and the characters brilliant. Didn't feel much affection to the story line. The use of very strong language was not necessary to the story, neither were wehappy for young actors to be smoking for our entertainment. A notice on the theatre door does not allow the patron to make any real choice on suitability to support the performance or withhold attendance. The subject matter of the inappropriate relationships between teacher and pupils sat uncomfortably in today's society. Some in the audience loved it but not something we could recommend.

Simon Girling

Just got home after seeing The History Boys: what a wonderful play and a wonderful production. The set was fabulous and actors tremendous. Just loved this and would gladly have sat through it all again straight away. At last, a production of the caliber of 25 years ago.

Rhea Williams

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