History Boys at the Guildhall

DERBY Shakespeare Theatre Company is presenting Alan Bennett’s The History Boys at Derby’s Guildhall Theatre from February 7-11.

The play, only recently released for amateur performance, is set in a Grammar School, it tells the story of eight very bright sixth formers working to achieve places at Oxbridge.

The play is set in the 1980s, a time when education is changing.

Those of us who were educated before and during the 1980s will have benefited from the wisdom of the anarchic teacher who thought and taught ‘outside the box’.

Hector is this type of teacher. He draws out the best from his students, helping them to achieve more than they ever dreamed possible.

His methods are often unorthodox. He is a thorn in the side of the school’s headmaster a man with little vision or imagination.

The head appoints a young teacher, Irvine, in the hope that the boys will identify with him and his more conventional ideas.

Alan Bennett’s play bears little relation to other school stories. It is about the process of teaching, the daily process of opening up of young minds.

Schooldays are said to be our happiest days. For some people that is true but even if we hated school, most of us can remember at least one teacher who gave us something special. We all have our Hector.

This play, which contains adult content and some strong language, will make you laugh, cry, think and remember.

Niki Caister has assembled a strong cast led by the eight young boys, ably supported by well-known experienced local actors.

The performances start at 7.30pm and tickets, costing £10 (£8 concessions). Call the box office on 01332 255800.