Last night’s awe-inspiring performance from the cast and crew of The History Boys left the audience riveted at Curve.
I cannot recall the last time there was such a buzz for a show. The audiences’ engagement for what was happening on stage felt intense.
Director, Christopher Luscombe has resurrected the show for the first time since its original National Theatre production.
Known as one of the great plays of the decade, The History Boys is set in a school in the North of England in the 1980s where a sprightly bunch of bright, funny, sixth-form boys are attempting to gain entrance to Oxford or Cambridge whilst evading the distractions of sport and sex.
The dynamics between the actors work well in this show which portray some very complicated relationships between pupils and teachers. They handle, what would normally be very delicate subjects, in an unusually light-hearted way which worked well surprisingly.
The play sets up the school setting and introduces the loose storyline and you soon establish who the characters are.
The scenes between the new teacher, Irwin (Ben Lambert) and Posner (Rob Delaney) were intriguing to watch. Some parts left the audience feeling like a voyeur peeking in on someone’s life but it was too interesting to tear your eyes away.
Lighting Designer, Tim Mitchell, produced an excellent scene setter. The main set is laid out for the classroom scenes but using the lights, Mitchell, is able to create the illusion of a school corridor.
There is a scene in the first act were the boys are being mischievous in class when the head master walks in which got the audience laughing in unison and I think it’s from that point that their sense of understanding and shared knowledge between them and the characters was noted.
The different scenes were bridged with bursts of pop culture music from the 80s which allowed the cast to adapt the set quickly.
The audience were left touched by the story of the boys but also left reminiscing about their school days and wondering what they’re old friends had gone on to accomplish in life.
If you love intelligent wit with a few laughs thrown in for kicks then The History Boys is for you.
Runs until March 26.
To book tickets visit www.curveonline.co.uk
Originally reviewed for The Public Reviews.