Literary Connections: making the right connections with literature
Untold Stories
Untold Stories: Alan
Bennett's memoir
History Boys: audiobook version
Now a BBC audiobook too

I count examinations... as the
enemy of education. Which is
not to say that I don't regard
education as the enemy of
education too (Mr Hector,
The History Boys)

Alan Bennett

'National teddy bear'

Alan Bennett's latest play, The History Boys, has bought him success again on stage, on the radio and now on film. It was a huge hit on Broadway, is still touring the UK and the film is now in cinemas. From Beyond the Fringe to Untold Stories, he's not often been out of the public eye.

  • New!Birthday boy: Blake Morrison salutes Alan Bennett on this 75th birthday as 'the comic writer who became a national treasure' (The Guardian, 7 May 2009).
  • The Guardian profile: Alan Bennett. 'He has been called everything from national treasure and prose laureate to curmudgeon laureate and Oracle of Little England. Yet the difference between Bennett the man and Bennett the image remains an enigma.' Aida Edemariam in The Guardian, May 14, 2004.
  • Alan Bennett page on screenonline from the BFI has an emphasis on his work for television and film.
The History Boys
Own your own copy
Making history with The History Boys
  • The History Boys wins six awards on Broadway's big night: There were six Tony Awards for The History Boys, including best play. Best actor was Richard Griffiths and Frances de la Tour was named best supporting actress. See also the Tony Awards site.
  • History in the making as Bennett play matches Miller's Salesman: Mark Brown in The Guardian, June 13, 2006
  • In praise of ... The History Boys: Guardian leader, 13 June 2006: 'The drama makes the impact it does because it comes in an era where education is about marketable skills and endless cramming for exams.'
  • Class act: 'England's soccer may be pedestrian, its cricket injury-prone and its rugby fallible, but at least its theatre retains championship status' - Michael Billington reflects on the play's success in the The Guardian's Culture Vulture Blog, 12 June 2006
  • School daze: to assist Americans flocking to see this 'madly enjoyable play' (New York Times: see below for more) Time Out New York publishes 'a primer on British education to ace The History Boys': 'The public schools are really private. Teenagers attend grammar school. And the Dons have nothing to do with the Mafia.'
  • Film version released in UK on 13 October 2006: see the Fox Films site for details. Peter Bradshaw's review in The Guardian is less than enthusiastic: perhaps this is another case of the film not living up to the original? See above for the DVD version of this film.
Other books by Alan Bennett