Jan 2022

The lesson

Starring Hazel Caulfield and Jerome Ngonadi
Written By Eugène Ionesco, translation by Donald Watson

"50s Absurdism meets 90s in-yer-face apocalypticism."

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About

A hysterical farce and riveting tragedy.

At this comedy's opening we find a mild-mannered, scatty-scholar teaching his bright-eyed, bonne-élève student that 1+1=2. When the innocent pupil begins to displease her tutor, the play delivers the scorpion sting in its tail as the pedagogue turns on her, becoming a bullying tyrant, a ferocious animal bent on her destruction.

A brand new Creative Captioning process supported by Arts Council England brings this play to D/deaf & hard of hearing audiences through projection integrated into the set and lighting design, ensuring all performances are accessible and the captioning enhances the creative story for hearing audiences as well.

The Cast

Cast

Pupil: Hazel Caulfield
Professor: Jerome Ngonadi
Marie: Cindy-Jane Armbruster

Creative Team

Director: Max Lewendel
Assistant Director: Annys Wyatt


Set Design: Christopher Hone
Costume Design: Isabella Van Braeckel
Sound Design: Matt Downing
Lighting Design: Stevie Carty
Projection Design: Ben Glover


Stage Manager: Charlotte Hosking
Associate Producer: Dylan Frankland
Assistant Producer: TBC
Props Master: Clarice Montero

Graphic Designer: Vincent Vyce
Photographer: Bernadett Ostorhazi
Production Associate: Tilly Phelan

Trailer Team

Professor: James Marchant
Pupil: Hazel Caulfield
Director: Duncan Roe
Production Assistant: Clare Nordin

More Information

At this comedy's opening we find a mild-mannered, scatty-scholar teaching his bright-eyed, bonne-élève student that 1+1=2. When the innocent pupil begins to displease her tutor, the play delivers the scorpion sting in its tail as the pedagogue turns on her, becoming a bullying tyrant, a ferocious animal bent on her destruction.

The classroom setting becomes a verbal ballet where strength and brutality slowly grind down and crush innocence and enthusiasm.

The metaphor is quite simply a dictator behind the facade of ‘working for the many’ who becomes drunk with power and hate (i.e., Hitler, Trump).  He turns on those to whom he promised a brave new world and becomes ruthless, killing discriminately, imprisoning free thought, and destroying new ideas.

Coronavirus: This play was intended as a warning against Nazi fascism and the time is perfect for the audience to make the comparison to Boris, Donald, and other contemporary political figures, and in particular their handling of the deadly pandemic, a farce turned deadly serious.

Creative captions offer an opportunity for deaf and hard of hearing audiences to more fully immerse themselves in a performance. Captions can appear on stage by being integrated with a set design matching the style of the show and reflect characterisation and tone.

Check out our Webinar on Creative captioning here.

Neil McEwan

"If this is what comes from flying too close to the sun,

then long may they continue"

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Reviews

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★★★★★

"The Icarus Theatre Collective have produced an utterly sumptuous revival of a Ionesco classic, cleverly creating a rich atmosphere through lights, sounds and set that instantly grabs the audience."

Dominic Allen, edfringe.com

"It is impossible not to enjoy Icarus Theatre Collective’s production of Ionesco’s one-act play. It is a perfectly cast piece of absurd theatre that will leave you scratching your head in wonder."

Kevin Hurst, Extra! Extra!

★★★★

"Max Lewendel’s touring production succeeds by the strength of its acting and the steadily increasing tension... His direction introduces a more vivid sexuality than Peter Hall would have been permitted in 1955."

Francesca Whiting, The Stage

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What does our Community say?

Read our reviews over 22 productions

Trial of Galileo

RemoteGoat

★★★★★
"Icarus Theatre fly into London on waxen wings, which, after this compelling production, show no sign of melting any time soon, A fine production, and a fantastic example of a writer and performer at the top of their game".

How to be a Bad Girl

Deadline News

★★★★
"Chap's cheeky, witty and bold personality shines through as she sings the stories of her own life, and sometimes others - all with wonderful vocal ability and tone that excites and engages the mixed crowd that packed in to the room to see her."
Lucy Samson

Macbeth

Carrick Biz

★★★★
"Five Stars alone are due to the designers of the simple set and the expressive mood-setting lighting and sound. You'll find out what a bane-moon looks like."
David Kerr

Hamlet

Review Sphere

[Their] adaptation truly had rebranded Hamlet for the Game of Thrones age. It was daring and experimental and often risky, but it worked and proved that it is indeed a living and ever fluid piece of literature"
Caroline Malcolm Boulton

Trial of Galileo

RemoteGoat

"Icarus Theatre fly into London on waxen wings, which, after this compelling production, show no sign of melting any time soon, A fine production, and a fantastic example of a writer and performer at the top of their game".

How to be a Bad Girl

Deadline News

"Chap's cheeky, witty and bold personality shines through as she sings the stories of her own life, and sometimes others - all with wonderful vocal ability and tone that excites and engages the mixed crowd that packed in to the room to see her." Lucy Samson

Macbeth

Carrick Biz

"Five Stars alone are due to the designers of the simple set and the expressive mood-setting lighting and sound. You'll find out what a bane-moon looks like." David Kerr

Hamlet

Review Sphere

Icarus Theatre Collective's adaptation truly had rebranded Hamlet for the Game of Thrones age. It was daring and experimental and often risky, but it worked and proved that it is indeed a living and ever fluid piece of literature." Caroline Malcolm Boulton

Many Roads to Paradise

Uk Theatre Web

★★★★★
"For many reason this play should be seen by everyone. Drama students and theatre-lovers alike will applaud fine acting by the strongest of casts, you would pay a lot of money in the West End for a class act like this"
Gene David Kirk

Journeys End

The Public Reviews

★★★★
"Journey’s End’ is very much an ensemble piece and it would be difficult and probably rather unfair to pick out one actor over another. Each and every performance is consummately delivered." Steve Burbridge

At the Mountains of Madness

Ija Pona

★★★★★
"We were treated to a show that was true to the H. P. Lovecraft original and made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I experienced frisson during last night."

Romeo & Juliet

British Theatre Guide

★★★★
Max Lewendel’s careful direction makes perfect sense of the tricky text, finding as much humour as possible in the early comic scenes. He keeps his actors on the move, each with purpose and justified intention.
Helen Brown

Many Roads to Paradise

Uk Theatre Web

★★★★★
"For many reason this play should be seen by everyone. Drama students and theatre-lovers alike will applaud fine acting by the strongest of casts, you would pay a lot of money in the West End for a class act like this"
Gene David Kirk

Journeys End

The Public Reviews

★★★★
"Journey’s End’ is very much an ensemble piece and it would be difficult and probably rather unfair to pick out one actor over another. Each and every performance is consummately delivered." Steve Burbridge

At the Mountains of Madness

Ija Pona

★★★★★
"We were treated to a show that was true to the H. P. Lovecraft original and made the hair stand up on the back of my neck. I experienced frisson during last night."

Romeo & Juliet

British Theatre Guide

★★★★
Max Lewendel’s careful direction makes perfect sense of the tricky text, finding as much humour as possible in the early comic scenes. He keeps his actors on the move, each with purpose and justified intention.
Helen Brown