The Lesson

A young female student arrives at the private residence of an elderly male professor for her titular tutorage. As language devolves into non-sequitur dialogue, a sense of menace develops, resulting in a dramatic shift, and an inevitable and literally unforeseeable twist.

Written by critically renowned absurdist playwright Eugene Ionesco.

design provocation

Walking in summer sunshine in a white-washed provincial village under an intense blue sky, [Ionesco] was profoundly altered by the light. He was struck very suddenly with a feeling of intense luminosity, the feeling of floating off the ground and an overwhelming feeling of well-being. When he floated back to the ground and the light left him, he saw that the real world in comparison was full of decay, corruption and meaningless repetitive action. This also coincided with the revelation that death takes everyone in the end. Much of his later work, reflecting this new perception, demonstrates a disgust for the tangible world, a distrust of communication, and the subtle sense that a better world lies just beyond our reach.

 – description of an experience Ionesco had as a child in France

designer notes

The lesson mood board

direction Matt Baker
light Amber Molloy
sound Sam Mence
venue Basement Theatre, Auckland

photographer Josh Griggs