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Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Vakhtangov theater in the play “Our class” has a terrible history lesson


At the New stage of the Vakhtangov theater played the premiere performance with a completely peaceful name of “Our class”. School, lessons, playtime, however, more than terrible history lesson, perhaps, I have not seen. Play Tadeusz Slobodzianek about the most shameful Chapter in Poland — the attitude of poles towards Jews during the Second world war. Details from the premiere browser “MK”.


photo: Michael Guterman

In Moscow came to the premiere the author Tadeusz Slobodzianek. A large, six foot man with glasses and black suit. With him is his wife, surprisingly similar to a ballerina Ilze Liepa. He is strict and demanding to the theatres, intending to put his play: allow for staging only after watching the rehearsal tapes. Theatre record provided, the working material of the playwright staged. And now it’s “Our class” — the first staging in Russia of the play, which in 2008 goes to thirty theatres of the world, is a success everywhere. The latest took place recently in Tokyo.

And so the stage space with a very ascetic scenery Alexander Borovsky, the master of minimalism. Only ten school boards, on which white chalk and lists the names — Zoska, Rachelka, Abraham, Jakob, Menachem, Rycek, Dora, Sigmund, and so on… and date of birth and death until 2003. But the two ended the life of 41 m and 42 m. Who are these guys? Both died of themselves or helped?

And here they are, boys and girls, all small, desperately young, frivolous. However, the age at which to begin our acquaintance with them is not defined — different stages-from the first call, the first love of adolescence to maturity and old age. Some were good, others — an inglorious and shameful. Slobodzianek wrote a story in just one class from a small town who has zerkall the life of a whole generation and the country before and during the war. This mirror is horrible and terrible because true. And the truth is painful.

Nothing came up, not exaggerated: those who have read the story or interested in, knows that the Jewish question in Poland, the situation was not quite simple and tragic. On the one hand, traditionally had the largest number of Jews in Europe, in Warsaw, entire neighborhoods populated by Jews of different backgrounds and incomes — Jewish doctors, Jewish lawyers, artists, jewelers, laborers. On the other hand… Here is the other side spelled out Slobodzianek in the stories told by themselves.

Yet there is no war in sight, still all play together, boys fall in love with girls, dancing with them — Rachelle suffering of Ryseck, and everyone is laughing at him. All seems well, but the national question… “Asked poles to pray. Only the poles.” Four young pole, one by one, sitting on stools, tedious repeat after the priest the words.

One of the ten — Abraham — goes with his parents to America, and sent from overseas to my classmates letters, not knowing that with the arrival of the Germans began in his native town, and as some of his friends turned into a… of the executioners. Even their loved ones… It is their hands are written denunciations of the administration of the first red Army, and with the arrival of the Germans burned the Jews in the barn.


photo: Michael Guterman

Of little stories, monologues and dialogues of the little people directed by Natalia Kovaleva (former actress lyubimovskogo “Taganka”, now a teacher of elocution of the Shchukin school) builds a volumetric effect. Like a whirlwind rushing a few lives, merged into one. People before and after. People faced with a choice: betray or stay human? Take to get rich, or to give to someone to save? Who is the coward and who is a hero? Difficult life tests are not everything, and everyone, even harmless, becomes a party to or witness moral choice seventy years ago.

The text of Slobodzianek powerful, and the Director managed very well to catch his nerve, his pain. Director at the structure of the play has introduced elements of choreographic — they record an acute emotional state of the characters or the situations in which they find themselves. Interesting to follow the fate of ten characters, three of which will be scored and killed early in the war. Specific history as the Foundation of a large building called life.

Ten young Vakhtangov three years working on this great text. And we can congratulate those to “Our class” had only a small role, the scenes in the bustling performances of the Vakhtangov. And here everyone got a chance and it performed brilliantly. Is Yuri Polyak, Vladimir Logvinov, Eldar Trams, Savinovskiy Maxim, Polina Kuzminskaya, Vladimir SOLEV, Alex Himmelreich, Daria Shcherbakova Ksenia Kubasova…

“Our class is in 14 lessons of history” from Slobodzianek now more than ever relevant for Russia, where increasingly contrary to the facts, the obvious and justified, I prefer the myths.

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