The History Boys voted nation's favourite play
The Alan Bennett play beat Michael Frayn's 'Noises Off' to top the list
The History Boys has been voted the nation’s favourite play, according to a new poll.
The Alan Bennett production beat four Shakespeare plays and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest to top the list.
First performed at the National Theatre in 2004, the play helped launch the acting careers of James Corden and Dominic Cooper.
Set in a Yorkshire boys Grammar School, The History Boys follows a group of sixth formers preparing for their Oxbridge interviews.
The play debuted on Broadway in 2006 and won a number of accolades, including a Laurence Olivier and Tony Award.
More than 7,000 theatregoers voted in the online poll conducted by the English Touring Theatre, which was open to people in the UK and abroad. Musicals, adaptations and translations were not included.
Michael Frayn’s ‘play within a play’ Noises Off was voted second, with William Shakespeare’s Hamlet in third.
A regional analysis of the poll found voters in the North East, North West, East and Midlands favoured Bennett’s play, while those in the South East and London opted for Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem.
Scottish voters preferred An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley, while Welsh theatregoers opted for Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia.
Voters in Northern Ireland and the South West preferred classic tragedy Hamlet.
Rachel Tackley, director of the English Touring Theatre, said the company had plans to perform nine of the most popular plays in its 2014 season.
She said: “I want to thank the thousands of people who voted in this fantastic birthday present for English Touring Theatre. Over 1400 plays featured in the results which is astonishing and speaks volumes about the health of British theatre and the variety on offer to audiences.
“It’s wonderful that two such glorious playwrights as Alan Bennett and Michael Frayn sit alongside Shakespeare at the top of the list.”
The nation’s top ten plays, according to the poll:
1. The History Boys by Alan Bennett
2. Noises Off by Michael Frayn
3. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
4. Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
5. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
6. Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth
7. An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley
8. Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
9. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
10. King Lear by William Shakespeare
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 5 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
JK Rowling announces Harry Potter's son is starting at Hogwarts
Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
Photographer fights ginger discrimination with vivid portraits of redheads
Akram Khan: Choreographer says dance is 'as important as maths and being a doctor'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up