The History Boys

I just saw the National Theater's performance of Allan Bennett's new play The History Boys, thanks to a barrister friend who was able to get tickets.

This is simply a spectacular play, brilliantly performed by an outstanding cast. It was even better than Bennett's The Madness of King George III, which I saw years ago in its first run at the National. And that was a great play and a great production (better than the film, I thought, although there's always a tendency to like the one you see first best).

Londoners are so spoiled when it comes to theater. When Caroline and I lived here we went to an average of more than one play a week. It is easily the thing I most miss about London. (Number two, oddly enough, is doing my weekly shopping at the Dalston Market.)

A mathematician friend has an extra ticket for another play at the National on Saturday that he is going to let me have. Tomorrow morning I'm going to TKTS to see what I can scare up. That makes three. Friday is complicated as I have appointments out of town, but I could either (horrors) book a full price ticket by phone, or see if I can get to TKTS early enough to catch my train after buying a ticket. That would make four.

I suppose going to a matinee on Saturday as well as an evening performance would be gluttonous. But I'm tempted.

(Recommendations from any readers who happen to be in London or know about what's on gratefully welcomed.)

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7 Responses to The History Boys

  1. I’d be interested in seeing Cloaca, if only because Kevin Spacey directed it, and I’m a huge fan. Apparently its at the Old Vic.

    And I have to agree, I saw the madness of king george long before I saw (on video) the madness of king george III, and I preferred the movie…guess cause I saw it first.

    The Solid Gold Cadillac, at The Garrick, also looked interesting, but I only read a part of the story…

    I miss being spoiled on London theater, too…thanks for the excuse to go a-browsin.

  2. Michael says:

    Cloaca sounded great on paper and was on my short list…but the reviews were unkind and my barrister friend – very much a theater person – says he saw it and was vastly disappointed.

  3. Bummer. Luckily I’m on this side of the pond, so I can’t say Kevin Spacey’s ever let me down…

  4. Mojo says:

    If you’re in the mood for something light, check out “The Complete History of America Abridged” at the Criterion. Their “Complete Works of William Shakespere” is also very good.

  5. fobyoc says:

    Dalston Market? Surely Ridley Road. I went to school not ten minutes from there forty years ago.

  6. wvmcl says:

    If you haven’t seen “Jerry Springer – the Opera” don’t miss it! I hear it might have to close soon.

    Most brilliant new show I’ve seen in many, many years.

  7. Bogg says:

    Did David Hare’s “Stuff Happens” open yet? It may be up your alley.

    I saw “History Boys” back in July, and agree completely: it was amazing and well worth the inclredibly cheap 10GPB we paid. Londoners are absolutely spoiled on theater, and this comes from a New Yorker!

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