In England, on tour and in its New York stop, Merrison played the salty Headmaster in the British high-school set play by Alan Bennett, and de la Tour played the jaded teacher, Mrs. Lintott. On June 11, she won the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play.
"Frances de la Tour and Clive Merrison were originally scheduled to leave The History Boys on Broadway in July," according to a statement. With the announced extension, to Oct. 1, they will now be away from the production until August. They return Aug. 22 for the remainder of the run through Oct. 1.
During their absence, the role of Mrs. Lintott will be played by Maggie Steed and the role of Headmaster will be played by Malcolm Sinclair. Both actors previously played these roles at the National Theatre in London. Their work on Broadway begins July 11.
Alan Bennett's The History Boys, directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Nicholas Hytner, premiered at the National Theatre of Great Britain on May 18, 2004, where it quickly became a sell-out smash hit.
The Broadway production (winner of six 2006 Tonys) follows engagements around the world. The History Boys is Alan Bennett's first Broadway play in more than 30 years, since Habeas Corpus in 1975. A UK national tour is expected to launch shortly.
The British actors in The History Boys are appearing with the permission of Actors' Equity Association.
"The History Boys is the thrilling comedy of eight bright, funny students trying to get into colleges and the year that influenced the rest of their lives," according to production notes. "Guiding them are a maverick English teacher, a headmaster obsessed with results and a strong-willed history teacher resistant to change. …The History Boys is about staff-room rivalry, adolescent anarchy and the role of education in our lives."
Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM, Sunday at 3 PM at the Broadhurst Theatre.
Tickets are available through Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200, and at the Broadhurst Theatre box office (235 West 44th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenue).
Tony Award-winner Richard Griffiths, who plays charismatic but broken teacher Hector, will step out of Broadway's Tony-winning Best Play, The History Boys, for one week to honor a film commitment (he plays Harry's nasty uncle in the Harry Potter film series).
Taking his place, July 18-23, will be National Theatre actor Desmond Barrit, who played the role to acclaim in London.