The Lesson

The Professor is awaiting the arrival of a new pupil while the Professor’s Maid/Manservant worries about her health and warns them of a potentially perilous situation. While the lesson starts well, the pupil seemingly promising and bright, the Professor is incensed to discover that hir pupil cannot subtract. As the lesson progresses, the Professor becomes increasingly infuriated with what they consider the pupil’s ignorance, while the pupil develops a toothache, becoming an all-around aching of the body.

The result is a hilariously dark comedy with tragic consequences, its musings as to totalitarianism in education (Something many can, I am sure, sympathise with) politics, psychology, and sexuality are as fresh and fascinating today as they ever were.

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Louise Ayrton – The Pupil
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Rox Middleton – The Professor
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Dara Solina Homer – The Maid
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Louise Ayrton and Dara Solina Homer

“Good morning. Is the Professor at home?”

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Louise Ayrton and Rox Middleton

“I’m anxious to start.”

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Louise Ayrton and Rox Middleton

“No, Mademoiselle, that’s not the answer!”

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Louise Ayrton and Rox Middleton

“Magnificent! You’re magnificent! Sublime! My warmest congratulations, Mademoiselle. There’s no point in going on. You’re quite first-rate at addition.”

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Louise Ayrton, Rox Middleton and Dara Solina Homer

“Madame? Madame?”

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Rox Middleton and Dara Solina Homer

“Marie! Now you’re really going too far…”

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Louise Ayrton and Rox Middleton

“I’ve got toothache.”

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Rox Middleton and Louise Ayrton

“I shall ask you then to follow this prepared course of mine with the closest attention, thanks to which you may, in fifteen minutes, acquire the fundamental principles of the comparative and linguistic philology of the neo-Spanish languages.”

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Louise Ayrton and Rox Middleton

“Say Knife…Say Knife…Knifey, knifey, knifey…”

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Dara Solina Homer and Rox Middleton

“I gave you a proper warning, too, a little while ago: Arithmetic leads to Philology and Philology leads to Crime.”

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Louise Ayrton, Rox Middleton and Dara Solina Homer

“Mademoiselle? Come on, Mademoiselle, the lesson is over now…”

We also made a trailer for the play:

This was a really fun photoshoot. Louise has a nice big room by the Great Court in Trinity College, which provided a perfect backdrop. We started by doing some portraits of the three actresses. Then Zoé had to run off to Trojan Barbie, but she sent us a long wish list of scenes from the play by Facebook chat. Let us just say it was a long list and leave it at that. We started from the top but as time was running out we cherry picked the best ones. The first few photos were lit by flash, but we then switched to using the existing light, which made the workflow simpler. This play is seriously weird, especially when the pupil starts to get her tooth ache. There is a fine line between dental pain and orgasm in this play. It made for some great images! We had about two hours, but could probably done a couple more hours if there had been time. Many thanks to the cast for a great evening!

— Johannes

Reviews: Varsity (3/5), The Tab (3/5)

Cast
The Professor – Rox Middleton
The Pupil – Louise Ayrton
The Maid – Dara Solina Homer

Production Team
Director – Zoe Barnes
Assistant Director – Charlotte Cromie
Assistant Producer – Ellie Gould
Publicity Designer – Hannah Taylor
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth
Lighting Designer – Johnny King
Cinematographer – Johannes Hjorth
Lighting Operator – Charlotte Cromie

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