A Distant Country

In World War 2 Poland was ripped apart by two great powers: Russia and Germany. Lives were destroyed and many Polish people were forced to leave their homes and to travel thousands of miles to find safety. Many came here to Barnsley, settling, marrying and raising families.

Based on accounts given by their children, "A Distant Country" tells the story of their courage and resilience.

The play follows the life of a Polish family during the Second World War as they travel from Poland to Yorkshire via Siberia, Iran and Italy. The story is told as a series of recollections by an 85 year old Pole to his great granddaughter, named after his sister who disappeared in the Soviet Union during the epic journey.

Despite being a realistic portrayal of suffering and hardship, the play is ultimately a celebration of common humanity.

7 - 10 June 2010

This was Grass Roots' fourth community drama with the same writer and production team which presented the highly acclaimed "One Breath", "Time and Chance" and "Profit and Loss." Our cast of around sixty actors, vocalists and dancers are all local people; some are members of the Polish community in Barnsley.

The story is based upon the largely untold story of the Russian/German partition of Poland. The video below gives a detailed historical background of the events that inspired the play.