In Bennett's play, an unruly bunch of bright, funny sixth-form boys are in pursuit of sex, sport and a place at university. Also on hand are a maverick English teacher at odds with the young and shrewd supply teacher, a headmaster obsessed with results, and a history teacher who thinks he's a fool.
The play's 2004 London production, directed by Nicholas Hytner, won all three major theatrical awards for Best Play: the Olivier, Evening Standard, and the London Critics' Circle Awards. A film version, to be directed by Hytner and starring the National Theatre cast, has already been announced, with tentative plans for a 2006 release.
Bennett made his Broadway debut in 1962 as a writer and performer in Beyond the Fringe; he and his fellow "Fringers" Dudley Moore, Peter Cook and Jonathan Miller were all awarded special Tony Awards. In 1975, his play Habeaus Corpus landed on Broadway starring Celeste Holm, June Havoc, Donald Sinden, Paxton Whitehead, and Richard Gere. In 2003, his collection of monologues Talking Heads played Off-Broadway, earning Obie Awards for its entire cast and a Drama Desk Award for Lynn Redgrave
The History Boys will feature scenic and costume design by Tony Award-winner Bob Crowley, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound design by Colin Pink, music by Richard Sisson, and video direction by Ben Taylor. It will be produced by Boyett Ostar productions and the National Theatre of Great Britain under the NTNY (National Theatre New York) banner.