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The Nation's Favourite Play is The History Boys

The History Boys

ENGLISH Touring Theatre has announced that Alan Bennett’s internationally renowned play, The History Boys, has been voted the Nation’s Favourite Play.

Since September, thousands of theatre fans have been voting for their favourite play. The poll – the first of its kind to ask theatre fans to vote for their favourite English language play – was commissioned by English Touring Theatre to establish what the nation most wants to see.

Some of the favourites will be presented in 2014 to celebrate English Touring Theatre’s 21st anniversary. Musicals, adaptations and translations were not counted.

The nation’s favourite top ten plays are:

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.

Voters were asked whereabouts in the country they were from in order to establish different trends and patterns in people’s theatre taste across the country. The most voted-for plays in each region are:

East of England – The History Boys.
London & The South East – Jerusalem/
The Midlands – The History Boys.
North East – The History Boys.
North West – The History Boys.
South West – Hamlet.
Scotland – An Inspector Calls.
Wales – Arcadia.
Northern Ireland – Hamlet.

English Touring Theatre’s director, Rachel Tackley, 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.

“I’m very much looking forward to announcing how, where and when English Touring Theatre will be presenting the most popular productions across the country.”