The Lesson


A new version of Eugène Ionesco’s play by Greg Homann based on a translation by Donald Watson.

Starring theatre veterans Graham Hopkins and Fiona Ramsay alongside newcomer Lihle Ngubo, this thrilling new version of Eugène Ionesco’s gripping play is a darkly entertaining look at enforcing power by using knowledge and culture as a weapon. Set in a small university town, an eager eighteen-year-old student arrives at the Professor’s home for a lesson. The action begins in a naturalistic way but shifts into a stylistic and visual feast as more surrealist and absurdist events take hold.

The Market Theatre

“New (version of the) play ‘The Lesson’ stirs up conversations around decolonising education” – IOL

“A better South African treatment of an international text – which was performed for the first time more than 70 years ago – I have not seen in a long time.” – AJ Opperman in Die Beeld

“…the play is a must-see since it can be viewed from multiple angles anchored on the destructive nature of a conquering project of imperialism and capitalism to unsuspecting nations and the working people.” – Lehlohonolo Shale in the Mail & Guardian

“The Lesson is witty yet on a deeper level; it is chilling, brutal and tragically complex. … could not have been staged at a better time….it is a masterpiece…Absurd yes but none of it is random…. there is no denying that the execution of this genre is something fresh and thrilling to grace the Market Theatre stages in a very long time.” – Zanele Madiba

Adapter and Director: Greg Homann
Assistant Director: Nana Pooe
Lighting Designer: Nomvula Molepo
Set Designer: Wilhelm Disbergen
Sound Designer: Vangile Z. Mpumlwana
Costume Designer: Onthatile Matshidiso
Stage Manager: Bongani Motsepe

Graham Hopkins as Professor
Fiona Ramsay as Marie
Lihle Ngubo as Student