British Boys Get Schooled on More than History

A play that includes education, British accents, love triangles, and sexual tension, playwright Alan Bennett’s “The History Boys” makes for a controversial, yet romantic evening at the theater. 

Based in England, “The History Boys” follows the lives of eight college-bound male students. The play starts out as banter between the students and their three teachers, a slow beginning that is as interesting as sitting in on a history lecture. The plot quickly picks up when scandal breaks loose. Without giving too much away, one of the well-respected teachers, Hector (Richard Ryan) turns out to be a subdued child molester of sorts. 

Judging from the nonchalant attitudes of everyone in the play, Hector’s actions are nothing to make a fuss about. 

Tensions continue to rise when the most attractive of the eight students, Dakin (James Breedlove), becomes sexually attracted to his male teacher Irwin (Jeff Cohlman), but at the same time student Posner (Ryan Foster) is madly in love with Dakin. Meanwhile, student Scripps (Jonathan Shue) has become obsessed with religion, much to his parents dismay.

The scandal, the romance, the make-out scenes: this play is an intellectual soap opera that also poses its audience many questions, making them feel as though they have just attended a lecture at Oxford. 

By the end of the play, the audience has many catchy tunes stuck in their heads, but they are also left pondering the meaning of the education system and the nature of history. 

The actors put on a noteworthy performance of this beautifully deep play. Although some of them had trouble mastering the British accent, the dialogue kept one interested throughout the play with its intellectual and insightful content. The relationships between the characters were heartfelt and sincere, and the play leaves one with a warm fuzzy feeling about life, education and, above all, love. 

“The History Boys” will be at the New
Conservatory Theatre Center until Oct. 26. For tickets call the box office at 
415 – 861 – 8972, or buy them 
online at


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