Book Tickets

The History Boys

Wyvern Theatre

Monday 1-Saturday 6 June 2015


Winner of over 30 major awards including the Olivier and Tony Awards for Best New Play, Alan Bennett’s comic masterpiece was voted the nations favourite play in a recent national survey.

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. 

Presented in a brand new touring production from the producers of Avenue Q UK Tour, Spring Awakening UK Tour and Seussical West End, The History Boys is a 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.

Pass it on boys… that’s the game I wanted you to play… pass it on
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Mon 7.30pm - £18.00*, £23.00*
Tue - Wed 7.30pm - £21.00*, £27.50*
Thu - Sat 7.30pm - £26.00*, £30.50*

Friends: 2 for 1 Mon Eve

Schools Rate available, please contact Laura-Amy Pitts in Ticket Office on 01793 524 481.

Groups discount available, when you call the Ticket Office on 01793 524481

Groups 10-19 £2.00 off a full price ticket
Groups 20-39 £2.50 off a full price ticket + group organiser goes free
Groups 40+ £3.00 off a full price ticket + group organiser goes free

*A £1.50 per ticket booking fee applies, capped at six per order. Fee-free booking for Wyvern Friends; Groups of 10+ please call 01793 524481 to buy fee-free.

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Review from The Times - Sam Marlowe

Roaring out on the road again, here’s Alan Bennett’s hugely popular 2004 school drama, trailing clouds of poetry, ambition and adolescent hormones like the exhaust fumes from its maverick teacher’s motorbike.

An examination and the randomness of history and life, it’s both ardent and shrewdly funny, and Kate Saxon’s new production for Sell a Door has a pacy fluidity. Bennett offsets his ideas with theatrical anarchy – outbreaks of song and monologue – well matched to teenage emotional tumult and Saxon deftly handles the shifts from intimate and intellectual to riotous.

The 1980s Sheffield grammar school setting is adorned in Libby Watson’s design with neon signs blinking a garish promise of future possibilities: “Live the dream,” exhorts one. Also dangling overhead is that motorbike, property of Hector, who is passionate about instilling in his sixth-form charges a love of knowledge for its own sake – and partial to illicit fondling when he persuades the boys to ride pillion on lifts home. As played by Richard Hope, he’s vigorously flamboyant, collapsing dramatically onto his desk in mock despair at his pupils’ cocksure cheek. This action is mirrored poignantly later when, his wandering hands exposed, he is given his marching orders.

Hector is on a collision course with Irwin (Mark Field), a supply teacher charged with coaching the boys for Oxbridge entrance exams. Field’s Irwin is strikingly young, the boundary between him and the swaggering student Dakin (Kedar Williams-Stirling) dangerously thin; when Susan Twist, bracingly lemony as the history teacher Mrs Lintott, alludes to Dakin’s conspicuous charms, you can almost see the sweat on Field’s brow. Among the classmates there’s a stand-out performance from Steven Roberts as sensitive, Jewish Posner, who, like Irwin, is enamoured with Dakin. Whirling into a French cabaret number in Hector’s unorthodox lesson or listening, horrified, as Irwin describes the Holocaust as just another historical event, Roberts is as vulnerable as an open wound.

A vivid, propulsive rendering of a 21st-century classic.