Theatre review: The Lesson

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THE LESSON

SWEET ECA (VENUE 186)

IONESCO'S absurdist allegories are tough plays to perform, and young company Podders Productions make a valiant effort with The Lesson, an unsettling piece about education and totalitarianism with a consciously satirical nod towards the Nazis. An eager young pupil arrives for a private tutorial with a professor who turns out to be a psychopathic bully. Podders' naturalistic approach works in part, but eventually is wrong-footed by the play's non-naturalistic side.

The result is funny, dark and excruciating by turns, though to be fair this might be exactly what the playwright intended.

SUSAN MANSFIELD

Until 30 August. Today 8:05pm.