What is most challenging, and the same time rewarding, is how a short play by the master of absurdist theatre, Eugene Ionesco written in the 1950's can feel as relevant and fresh for an audience today.

The Play is a simple enough story with a young female pupil turning up at the house of a renowned professor to be tutored into being a high achiever. And, being absurdist the pupil's aspirations are go way beyond her ability. However, this doesn't appear to be a barrier but rather a challenge for the professor. The plot providing much of the exaggerated humour that then descends into conflict as the darker side of the professor is revealed.

There is a joy and wonderment expressed through every sinew of Hazel Caulfield's performance as the pupil. She delivers naivety that develops into frustration and ultimately fear, creating such empathy from the moment she first appears ringing the bell for the apartment.

Jerome Ngonadi as the professor, captures the swings of character with great ease. He revels in the ridiculous attempts at simple subtraction through to heightened frustration, when his figures and facts torture the pupil.
As the Maid, Julie Stark is the one character that shows total control. It is a very unnerving watch as she clears up the mess and destruction that the professor has created.

Special mention must be given to the creative captioning by Ben Glover that transcends the practical to be the main aesthetic. That takes dialogue and insane scribbling and covers two sides of Christopher Hones clever unfolding set.

It is very easy for a play like this to lose its audience in the absurdity, but Max Lewendel's direction is tight and extremely clever , full of visual and dramatic images that keep the momentum going and then stay with you after the play.

The Lesson is an absolute lesson in how to give the ludicrous meaning. It will have you laughing at things you finally realise are abhorrent. Ninety minutes of pure theatre.