Monday, July 08, 2013

"Pass it on": Alan Bennett on The History Boys

"Pass the parcel. That's sometimes all you can do. Take it, feel it, and pass it on. Not for me, not for you, but for someone, somewhere, one day. Pass it on, boys. That's the game I want you to learn. Pass it on."
When the lovely actor Richard Griffiths died in March these words from the play The History Boys were widely quoted.

They constitute a wonderfully economical defence of learning for its own sake and also, to give it a political slant, of keeping to your principles even when that proves unfashionable or even dangerous.

But those words, of course, come not from Griffiths but from the play's author Alan Bennett. And here he is talking about The History Boys on American television around the time it opened on Broadway.

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