Our Class is a new play which opens in Poland, 1925, where a group of schoolchildren, Jewish and Catholic, declare their ambitions: one to be a fireman, one a film star, one a pilot, another a doctor. They are learning the ABC.
As the children grow up, their country is torn apart by invading armies, first Soviet and the Nazi. Internal grievances deepen as fervent nationalism develops; friends betray each other, violence escalates until these ordinary people carry out an extraordinary and monstrous act that darkly resonates to this day.
Our Class sees Polish writer Tadeusz Slobodzianek confront his country’s involvement in the atrocities of the last century as it follows the one-time classmates – amidst the wedings, parades, births, deaths, emigrations and reconciliations – into the next.
Slobodzianek is one of Poland’s foremost playwrights whose work has been seen at the Edinburgh Festival.
Our Class is directed by Bijan Sheibani in his National Theatre debut. Sheibani’s productions of The Brothers Size at the Young Vic and Gone Too Far! at the Royal Court were both Laurence Olivier Award-nominated, with the latter triumphing.
For more about Our Class at the National Theatre, Cottesloe, read the First Night Feature.