Are you an avid theatre goer?
I must admit the truth and tell you I haven’t been to a proper grown up play for aaaaaaaaaaaages.
I did take Z to see The Tiger Who Came to Tea last summer as part of the Kids Week in the West End where kids go free and both he and I loved it.
Living in Bromley we have The Churchill Theatre on our doorstep and I don’t know about you but I wasn’t aware of all the fab plays they have there across this year which span from musicals to stand up to intense intellectual productions.
Talking of intense productions. I had the honour of attending the premier (at The Churchill!) of The History Boys by Alan Bennett, voted ‘the nations favorite play’ last year and winning endless awards it was one I was excited to see.
For those of you don’t know The History Boys is a comic drama which covers the summer after A-Levels where a group of boys stay on in the classroom to be preened for Oxbridge exams. It’s set in the 80’s and some may find it a little on or behind the line as it represents what happened in certain schools and places in that time period where headteachers may of turned a blind eye….
It’s a thoughtful story of the time which covers comradery, not only with the boys but with their teachers, and gives you an insight into intellectual learning where it meant more to teach life than just a curriculum.
The director Kate Saxon notes, ‘the play does not present realism…their take on sexuality too liberal for the time. There is no bullying in the group…by freeing itself of realism the play is able to take a microcosm of the time and place and allow us to see relevancies that stretch far beyond it.’
The theatre was packed! Considering it was a Monday evening this wasn’t something I expected and the bar was buzzy in the interval. It may not be something you immediately think of for a night out but an early dinner, good play, few drinks before, in the interval and after it offers it all really!
It had me listening intently at times, honestly, trying to keep up, it had me feeling sad and feeling happy. Evoking emotions like a rollercoaster and it made me realise that a lot of the olden days in teaching had a magical quality to them regarding the passion of old school teachers. The team of school boys bounced off one another easily and the play ran through perfectly. Hector (played by Richard Prior) managed to endear himself to me even though he was the one person acting inappropriately…
As is quoted again by the director ‘Bennet helps us along; the lessons are far reaching. Not only do they cover life, love and death, the extra-curricular lessons are equally enlightening.’
The History Boys runs until Saturday 2nd May at The Churchill Theatre. Find out more and book your tickets here PLUS quote ‘HISTORYPACKAGE’ and receive a Band A seat, program and drink for £25.