The History Boys

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The History Boys

Postby Barry » Sun Oct 25, 2009 10:53 am

The History Boys - Altrincham Garrick - October 25th 2009

A tricky one this. How do you enjoy this gloriously theatrical masterpiece with unprejudced eyes when you are really not only wnating to deirect and design it but also wanting to play Hector? You can't really, but the play is so good it does sweep you along, and this production told its' story exceptionally well. True there are a lot of people to get on and off so many times (do they need to go off?) and this can play havoc with the pace, but crikey some of the perfromances from the 'Boys', especially the main trio, was extraordinary and assured and relaxed, and remarkably focussed. A few of them had so much presenceit was hard to believe they were just eighteen, though I would have liked to have done some work with the voices. But some great talent tere, and how good must it have felt to be standing holding that stage in a great part in a great play. The piles of books in Stephanie's design worked well, but as always with video projections, the ambient lighting has to be dim, and this wasn't and the projections weren't really seen to their best. Two plays on two evenings that used projections - Dorian Gray clearly had a brighter projector, and such complex cues. Anyway The History Boys was a remarkable evening at the Garrick - five years from being written and then to the Garrick is not a long journey actually. It is a provocative play, as I guess Jean Brodie must have been in her time, mixing education and sex and politics. I hope this play doesn't become the Oliver of its' generation, being trotted out in ever more diluted versions by every school in the country. It does have some pertinent things to say, especially to me and after this last week of teaching, and it does off four great roles for adults and each of the gang of boys is so well drawn. Well done to the Garrick, the cast and the crew. This was non-professional theatre at its finest. Well, well done, too, to Bennett who obviously has to claim the lion's share of credit.
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