Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Black Watch

As Jock and I don't have a telly, we've decided to see more theatre this year. There are times when you are so moved by a piece of theatre that the experience will stay with you for a long time. One of those times was when I saw Orpheus in the Underwold at His Maj in Perth about a hundred years ago and the other was being privileged enough to see The Black Watch in Glasgow on Friday night.

If you ever have the chance to see this inspiring play by Gregory Burke, then you are in for a treat.
The production is cleaver and slick, with the central prop being a pool table that doubles as an army vehicle. You can feel the exhaustion of 8 men crammed into it sweating out their dispair on a 50 degree day.

The production and script is what makes this political play one that will be done over and over again. The script is deeply funny and dark. However, some of the most powerful and poignant lines are delivered in sign language, when the soldiers receive their letters from home. Each stands on his own, reading messages that loved ones can often only say in written words.

One hilarious scene involves a new soldier being told about the importance of a piece of blank paper to a soldier's kit. He remains unconvinced, until this piece of paper is waved at the seargent major as a "get out of jail" free card.

The desert storm fatigues and their colours are dominant, with the only other colour being red - red carpet, red pool table and the red hackle in their tam-o-shanters.

I have never seen a play like it. A fabulous fabulous piece of theatre.

PS - if you want to see a lovely film and one that you can take your mum to, try Son of Rambow.

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