Thursday, 10 July 2008
HOT: Black Watch, Barbican Centre
As one audience member said, it's rare for the Scottish to get worked up about a piece of theatre. But there's reason to get worked up about Black Watch, a brilliantly choreographed play about the famous regiment's deployment to Camp Dogwood, Iraq. The play explores the prism of a military life: the golden thread of history that draws the young men of Dundee, Fife and Perth to enlist in a 300 year old tradition; the boredom and heat of a desert war; the flashes of fear and the training that automatically overtakes the fear; the raucous dirty banter which hides the aggressively strong bond between you and your mates; and the poignancy of missing home. During two intensely emotional hours, the most stirring moment for me was the proud regimental march ending the play - a fitting way to draw in all of those themes and to salute the soldiers of the Black Watch.