History Boys: Act 2 – scenes 1 and 2

  • Irwin, five years older than when he appeared in the first scene of the play (and therefore about twenty years older than he was as a teacher), is filming a history programme. He tells the viewer that studying Henry VIII tells you about all other periods of history. In a break from filming he talks to a man who has been watching. It is one of the boys, but Irwin does not recognise which one. The man has clearly not made a success of his life. He tries to get Irwin to talk, but Irwin realises that he is wearing a microphone – he is trying to sell a story to the newspapers. Irwin doesn’t say anything, but agrees to sign a copy of his book for the man. It is Posner.
  • While teaching the boys, Hector, to their confusion, begins to cry. None of them know what to do. Posner is the only one to pat him on the shoulder and offer some awkward comfort. They play the film game to cheer Hector up.