This gently observant play is a comedy about broken vows, failed hopes and the joys of bee-keeping.
‘First seen in 2001, Charlotte Jones’s play is an English country Hamlet featuring the melancholic figure of Felix Humble, a ill-adjusted physicist whose attempts to conceive a general theory of everything have come to naught. He returns to his late father’s Cotswold garden to find his beloved bees have disappeared and his mother preparing to remarry before the funeral nibbles have reached room temperature. Like the lowly bumble itself, it’s a miracle that such an unaerodynamic package of astrophysics, apiculture and Shakespearean allusion ever gets off the ground. But Jones’s ability to combine complex science with acute, comic characterisation has an almost Stoppardian elegance in a gently observant play.’
Alfred Hicklin, The Guardian
Humble Boy premièred at the Royal National Theatre, London, in August 2001, and transferred to the Gielgud Theatre, London, in 2002. The play was the winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Award 2001, the Critics’ Circle Best New Play Award 2002, and the People’s Choice Best New Play Award 2002.
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