'The Lesson' is an explosive drama looking at the long-term fallout of a relationship between a teacher and his eighteen-year-old pupil, and the young woman who tried to destroy it.
James is doing the publicity rounds for his latest novel. His wife, heavily pregnant Alice, is desperate for him not to name the woman upon whom the central character is based. Cara, the woman in question, is vindictive, powerful and dangerous - as she was as a schoolgirl when she set out to destroy their lives a decade ago. Cara has subsequently built her journalist career on those very same qualities.
Though they haven't had contact for a decade, Alice and Cara were once inseparable friends. The friendship soured when Alice and James became close and Cara became jealous of their relationship. Alice and James weren't going to take their relationship further until Alice had left school. However before that could happen Cara made an accusation against James. Although nothing was proven James resigned and his teaching career was over.
James has written the novel from Cara's point of view in an attempt to understand the deep-seated envy and hostility that so clearly drove her actions. He's changed the central character's name to Lizzie but to Cara it is obvious where James got the inspiration for the novel. Now Cara is publishing an article about the truth of their shared history and wants to give James and Alice the right to reply.
Producer/director: David Ian Neville.
James's new novel has just been published, but an ex-pupil has issues with his story.
Drama from BBC Radio 4