Company/ Theatre: Teatr Na Woli im. Tadeusza Łomnickiego, Warsaw.
Author: Tadeusz Słobodzianek
Director: Ondrej Spišak
seen on the 17.06.12 in Wiesbaden "New Plays from Europe" festival
Description: OUR CLASS relates ten exemplary Polish biographies. Of people who begin their school days together, who fall in love, hide and protect each other. Some of them, however, will turn to murder and betrayal. This is Poland’s difficult history, tossed back and forth between Soviet and Nazi rule, between Catholicism, Nationalism, Judaism and political ideology. Before the backdrop of a historical event, Słobodzianek sketches the complexity of human behaviour in extreme situations.
what I liked: the actors! So much talent, such stunning performances! It was a joy to watch them all the way through, especially towards the end Marcin Sztabiński and Karol Wróblewsk raised the bar high.
The simplicity and lack of decorations, effects or theatre blood was perfect too...in some of the more gruesome scenes it would have been hard to watch otherwise. I certainly learned more about Polish history by just watching it.
what I disliked: it was a tad too long. And at a certain point in the play I thought "Enough now, how much evil do you want every single character to go through?!" In the program the author said that he wished to create a catharsis so I guess that explains why. Another minor problem was that it was not easy to listen to the translation when they all were singing and shouting on stage - Polish is quite a loud language...
verdict: Leaving the theatre I felt a bit overwhelmed by the play and was not too sure about it. But after a few days now I find myself thinking about it quite a lot still. Would make a great novel and a great film too...but only if the same magnificent cast would do it! So far my favourite evening of the festival.