Box office: 020 7978 7040

Audrey Thayer and Theatre503 present

The Lesson

Written by Emma Anderson
Directed by Tian Brown-Sampson
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An underfunded secondary school in South West London. A slowly crumbling drama studio. A rapidly crumbling education system.

With her ‘big girl hero teacher pants’ on, Clara has just three days to save Daniella from being kicked out of mainstream education.

Battled against an unforgiving school structure, an uncooperative superior and four unruly teenage girls – will Clara be able to save her job let alone anyone else?

Inspired by Emma Anderson’s time as a drama teacher in a London academy school, The Lesson is an unflinching look at the reality of the UK’s state-education structure, the ever-growing strain on teachers and the young people who fall through the cracks of the flawed system.

The Lesson was a finalist for the 2019 Papatango New Writing Prize.

TIAN BROWN-SAMPSON is a Black British theatre director, producer, movement director, dramaturg, translator and facilitator. Her focus lies mainly within Black; East and South East Asian (ESEA); South Asian; D/deaf and disabled theatre work within new writing, as well as promoting diversity, representation and accessibility.

AUDREY THAYER is a freelance producer, dramaturg and Artistic Director. She graduated in 2015 from Chapman University after earning degrees in both Theatre Studies and English Literature. Previously Audrey worked as a Resident Assistant Producer at Theatre503, before taking over as Artistic Director of the Drayton Arms Theatre in November 2016.

Running time: Approx. 90 minutes (no interval)

Age guidance: 16+

Content information: This show contains themes that some audience members may find distressing. If this sounds like it could apply to you, you can view content information here.

Emma Anderson

Emma is a playwright and educationalist. After teaching drama in a secondary school, for 12 years, she began writing in 2016. The Lesson is her first play, which was shortlisted for the Papatango Playwriting Award in 2019. She has been longlisted for the 2018 Theatre503 International Playwriting Award, completing her Masters writing programme at CSSD in 2020 and recently shortlisted for the Phoebe Francis Brown award in 2023. Alongside writing, Emma works in a primary school and is an active officer in the National Education Union.


Artistic Team
Emma Anderson
Tian Brown-Sampson
Set and Costume Designer
Verity Johnson
Assistant Director
Rosa Escoda
Geebs Marie Williams
Savannah Ayoade-Greaves
Francesca Isherwood
Kamanzi Gakuru
Ashling O'Shea
Flo Crompton

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