A workers' strike in a weaving factory leads to a standoff with management. However, what would have once been a straightforward class-struggle is complicated by the fact that the Asian workers have a different set of grievances to the Whites. Strikes are called, denied, deemed official or otherwise, and all the while the people at the lowest economic rung are fighting each other for the scraps handed down from above. Added to this the expected redundancies for all female staff, and what emerges is a complex system of oppression, whose particularities are investigated in a Court of Inquiry brought by the Department of Employment
Edgar writes that Our Own People concerns the breakdown in logic that happens when "people originally committed to the idea that the only division that matters is class are forced to come to terms with the notion that there are other divisions between people as deep and perhaps even more painful".
Based on a fictional conflation of many different real-life strikes and disputes, and with echoes of Hauptmann's The Weavers, Our Own People was first performed at the Half Moon Theatre in 1977.
Copyright © 1987 by David Edgar