"History Boys" Film Opens in London Oct. 13

News   "History Boys" Film Opens in London Oct. 13
"The History Boys" — the new film based on Alan Bennett's Tony and Olivier Award-winning play of the same name — opens in London cinemas Oct. 13. Nicholas Hytner, who directed the stage production, repeats his work for the screen.

Samuel Barnett and Jamie Parker
Samuel Barnett and Jamie Parker Photo by Fox Searchlight

Bennett adapted his script for the film version, which features most of the original stage cast, including Richard Griffiths, who nabbed Tony and Olivier awards for his moving performance as Hector, the unconventional but inspirational school teacher.

The film also features Samuel Anderson as Crowther, Samuel Barnett as Posner, Dominic Cooper as Dakin, James Corden as Timms, Frances de la Tour as Mrs. Lintott, Sacha Dhawan as Akthar, Andrew Knott as Lockwood, Clive Merrison as the Headmaster, Stephen Campbell Moore as Irwin, Jamie Parker as Scripps, Adrian Scarborough as Wilkes, Georgia Taylor as Fiona, Russell Tovey as Rudge and Penelope Wilton as Mrs. Bibby.

Fox Searchlight Pictures will release the film in the U.S. on Nov. 21.

"The History Boys," according to press notes, "tells the story of an unruly class of bright, funny history students in pursuit of an undergraduate place at Oxford or Cambridge. Bounced between their maverick English master (Richard Griffiths), a young and shrewd teacher hired to up their test scores (Stephen Campbell Moore), a grossly out-numbered history teacher (Frances de la Tour), and a headmaster obsessed with results (Clive Merrison), the boys attempt to sift through it all to pass the daunting university admissions process. Their journey becomes as much about how education works, as it is about where education leads."

By the standards of a Broadway play—particularly a cerebral one about English academic culture, written by a largely unknown playwright—The History Boys enjoyed an amazingly successful Broadway run. The show opened to the best reviews for a new play in the 2005-06 Broadway season. Tickets were highly sought after and the Broadhurst Theatre never lacked for audiences. Additionally, star Griffiths became something of a local celebrity. The play won six Tony Awards on June 11, including Best Play. Originally, the show was to have closed on Sept. 3, but the Tony broadcast resulted in a bonanza at the box office. History Boys collected $200,000 in sales by the end of Monday, June 12, and the show extended through Oct. 1.

The History Boys was the first big success to come out of producers Bob Boyett and Bill Haber's deal with the Royal National Theatre, in which they have first dibs on Broadway transfers of National plays.

The National Theatre production of The History Boys will now receive its West End premiere at the Wyndham’s Theatre on Jan. 3, 2007, following previews from Dec. 21. For the West End run, the U.K. touring cast will reprise their roles. Stephen Moore (Festen, My Fair Lady) will play Hector. The cast also includes Isla Blair as Mrs. Linott, William Chubb as the Headmaster and Orlando Wells as Irwin. The boys are played by Owain Arthur, Ben Barnes (Dakin), Philip Correia (Rudge), Marc Elliott, Thomas Morrison (Scripps), Akemnji Ndifornyen, David Poynor and Steven Webb (Posner).

For more information about "The History Boys" film, visit www.foxsearchlight.com.

Richard Griffiths and Dominic Cooper in "The History Boys."
Richard Griffiths and Dominic Cooper in "The History Boys." Photo by Fox Searchlight
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