The Market Theatre presents a new version of Eugène Ionesco’s “The Lesson” by Greg Homann starring theatre veterans Graham Hopkins and Fiona Ramsay alongside newcomer Lihle Ngubo.

This thrilling new version of Eugène Ionesco’s gripping play, The Lesson, is based on a translation by Donald Watson. It is a darkly entertaining theatre production about 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. What starts as a farcical interaction between the two becomes something more sinister.

The production stars two of South Africa’s most seasoned thespians, Graham Hopkins and Fiona Ramsay, who just concluded a celebrated run of Hansard at the Theatre on the Square. Joining this formidable duo is rising star Lihle Ngubo who makes her debut on the Market Theatre stage.

The original one-act play sits as a canonic piece of French playwriting by Romanian-French playwright Eugène Ionesco – one of the founding fathers of the theatre of the absurd. This well-loved play has been translated into dozens of languages, and its core message is no less relevant today than when it was first performed in the aftermath of the second world war.

This new version by multi-award-winning theatre maker, Greg Homann, has been updated to connect more directly with a South African audience. The broad structure of the play remains the same, as does the dramatic arc but the language and politics of the work has been shifted to focus on the complexity of a post-colonial education in a contemporary setting.

Working together with Homann as the Assistant Director is the highly creative Nana Pooe.

Homann moved to the UK shortly before the pandemic and returns to Johannesburg to direct this stirring and re-energized adaptation of the original play.

The comic-drama’s contemporary resonances are clear – it captures the headiness and absolute power of oppressive and toxic patriarchal forms of knowledge production on unsuspecting innocents.

Don’t miss this funny, breath-taking and chilling look at what happens when power, knowledge and culture collide.

Season: Sunday 9 October – Sunday 30 October 2022
Venue: The Mannie Manim
Performance times: Tuesday – Saturday @19h00 and Sunday @15h00
Ticket prices: Tuesday – Thursday R90
Friday – Saturday R150
Sunday – R130

To make block bookings and discounts please contact Anthony Ezeoke 011 832 1641ext 203/ 083 246 4950 or Bandile Luvalo 078 4344 860