The History Boys tops poll for nation’s favourite play

The History Boys performed at the National Theatre's 50th anniversary celebrations. Photo: Catherine Ashmore
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Alan Bennett's The History Boys has topped a poll to find the nation's favourite play, run by English Touring Theatre.

Noises Off by Michael Frayn placed second, with Hamlet third, one of four Shakespeare plays in the top 10.

Since September, members of the public have been voting for their favourite English-language play at www.myfavouriteplay.com. Musicals, adaptations and translations were not eligible.

The top ten was:

  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

ETT has said it plans to incorporate as many of the top 10 plays and regional favourites into its 2014 schedule.

Director Rachel Tackley said: ‘‘I want to thank the thousands of people who voted in this fantastic birthday present for English Touring Theatre. Over 1,400 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.”