The Wikipedia entry devoted to Alan Bennett provides a solid overview with complete listing of his works, interesting biographical information and links to relevant materials: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Bennett.
With respect to the characters represented in his work, the entry notes, “In many cases they have met with disappointment in the realm of sex and intimate relationships, largely through tentativeness and a failure to connect with others.” What is explored in The History Boys is no exception to this rule and, in fact, this theme runs parallel to the play’s exploration of the formative nature of school experience and questions raised about education.
Select Additional works of Alan Bennett:
Forty Years On (first play, 1968) The Madness of King George III (he later adapted for film as The Madness of King George)
An Englishman Abroad
Untold Stories (prose collection)
A Question of Attribution
Talking Heads (series of monologues)
A Private Function
Writing Home (essays and diary collection)
The Secret Policeman’s Ball (and The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball)
Prick Up Your Ears (screenplay)
Alan Bennett performances of note:
Beyond The Fringe (with Dudley Moore, Peter Cook and Jonathan Miller at the Edinburgh Festival)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (audiobook)
Winnie The Pooh (audiobook)
The Lady in the Van (BBC Radio 4 with Maggie Smith as Miss Shepherd, a woman who lived in a series of dilapidated vans on Bennett’s driveway for a period of 15 years)
More about Alan Bennett:
It’s alleged he moved from school at Cambridge to Oxford (achieving scholarship to Oxford) in order to follow Ian unrequited love. His degree from Oxford was in History where he remained to teach Medieval History.
Bennett performed in the satirical revue Beyond The Fringe with Dudley Moore, Peter Cook and Jonathan Miller at the 1960 Edinburgh Festival. Accolades for Beyond The Fringe were the catalyst for his departure from academia at Oxford to pursue his writing career.
When asked in later years whether he was homosexual or heterosexual, Bennett replied, “That’s a bit like asking a man crawling across the Sahara whether he would prefer Perrier or Malvern water.”
His distinctive Leeds accent and expressive voice have made him a favored choice for voice work. His performance of the Winnie The Pooh audiobooks is beloved.
In 2010, he was ‘accidentally’ smeared with ice cream by two women while visiting Marks & Spencer. During the act of helping him clean his coat, they lifted 1,500 British pounds he’d just retrieved from the bank. He’s reported to have said the experience left him ‘less likely to believe in the kindness of strangers.’
Alan Bennett’s newest play, People, opened at The National Theatre in London in October 2012. Directed by Nicholas Hytner (who also directed the original History Boys play and movie). People received four of five stars in The Telegraph review by Charles Spencer on November 8, 2012. Read here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/9662548/Alan-Bennetts-People-National-Theatre-review.html