La Leçon

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La Leçon ("The Lesson") is a play by Romanian playwright Eugène Ionesco (1909-1994) [1].

The original text

First performed on 20 May 1951 at the Théâtre de Poche in Paris.

Translations and adaptations

Translated as The Lesson in English, it was produced in South Africa by ** in 19*.

Translated into Afrikaans from the French as Die Les by Bartho Smit, published by HAUM-Literêr (1984) in Bartho Smit-Vertalings: 1 (also including Die Koning Sterf and Die Renosters).

Performance history in South Africa

1959: Produced by National Theatre Organisation, directed by Robert Mohr with Robert Mohr, Esther van Ryswyk and Elma Marais.

1975: Produced in Afrikaans as Die Les by the Stellenbosse Eksperimentele Teater at the Libertas Theatre 1 and 2 August, with Ben Dehaeck, Juanita Swanepoel, Madeleine Heyns, Philip du Plessis and Niel Geldenhuys.

1974/5?: Staged by SWAPAC Drama in Windhoek, Namibia, directed by Johan Botha with Dawie Malan, Antoinette Kellerman and Lida Botha, as part of a double bill with Die Trommel (Brink).

1978: Produced by Estelle Venter with students of the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department in the H.B. Thom Theatre in October 1978 for examination purposes.

1979: A Don Maguire Production featured The Chairs and The Lesson in An Evening with Ionesco at the Baxter Theatre Studio. Directed by Barbara Maguire, the cast included Barbara Maguire, Sandra Williams and Don Maguire.


Brian Barrows and Yvonne Williams-Short(eds.). 1988. Theatre Alive! The Baxter Story 1977-1987.

Lantern, 9(2):192-197. Dec 1959.

Theatre pamphlet for a two-hander presentation of Die Trommel and The Lesson staged by SWAPAC Drama in Windhoek, Namibia, found among Antoinette Kellerman's performance texts in the Stellenbosch Drama Department archives in 2022.

Rinie Stead, 1985b

Theatre programme: An Evening with Ionesco, 1975.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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