In any play or film about education, the teacher must learn as much as the pupil – and so it proves in Carolyn Scott Jeff’s play Edifying Eddy.
With Pygmalion, My Fair Lady or Educating Rita it is an older male professor, teacher, and a female student, but here the genders and ages are reversed.
The set is a simple one – a packed office, a lock that doesn’t work, a light that doesn’t illuminate and a swivel chair with a mind of its own. But it shows how run down the university is that teacher Mel has found herself in.
With only two characters and a lot of dialogue, both Tom Roberts (Eddy) and Lizzie Wofford (Mel) showed their pedigree as actors.
After enrolling on an MA in creative writing following redundancy, Eddy meets his tutor and the mismatched pair initially fail to get on.
As the play progresses and Eddy’s marriage ends he begins to find his own voice, penning a screenplay about his early family life.
He learns much about learning, finding the authentic self and using your own voice from Mel. But she also learns from him, acknowledging her own problems with addiction, her distant father, her abandoned performance and writing career as a poet.
By the end, both characters learn about what is important in life – and what is important to them.