Bennett adapted his own play, which also features the same cast and director and may seem more stagebound than cinematic. In 1983, at a Sheffield grammar school, eight senior boys are being specially tutored in history for a chance to pass the entrance exams to Oxford and Cambridge. To this end, the headmaster (Merrison) has brought in recent Oxford history grad Irwin (Campbell Moore) to tailor their studies, much to the dismay of portly general studies teacher Hector (Griffiths), who prefers a broader method of learning, and tart-tongued longtime teacher Dorothy (de la Tour). Except for class stud Dakin (Cooper) and the Jewish Posner (Barnett), who has a crush on him, the boys serve as background while the grownups show off. But Bennett can write some very good monologues.