FROM Scotland’s community halls to Broadway, the National Theatre of Scotland has been getting around recently.
Macbeth may be the name on the lips of many a New Yorker – with NTS’s one man show taking to the stateside stage next month — but here in Glasgow, one of the company’s best-received productions is making a comeback.
Gregory Burke’s award-winning Black Watch returns to the SECC on Thursday – and theatre fans who haven’t yet seen it would do well to snap up a ticket.
Based on interviews with real soldiers, and set on the eve of the historic Scottish regiment’s amalgamation, the play’s first — and it was presumed, only — outing was at the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe, in a drill hall set out to mimic the Edinburgh Tattoo.
Black Watch has since taken the theatre world by storm, touring other countries and continents to great critical acclaim.
Incorporating sign language and interpretative dance and flitting between a Fife pool hall and Camp Dogwood with the flick of a switch blade, there’s more to Black Watch than a tale of gallant soldiery.
Audiences follow the action from start to finish without an intermission, catapulting them into the regiment’s world, both at home and in the confines of the Iraqi desert.
There are traditional songs and interjections from noteworthy figures both historical and contemporary — all leading up to an explosive and emotional finale.
The Extra happily reviewed the play in 2010, noting it as a show which straddles the theatrical fence: appealing to those who don’t do plays and to luvvies alike.
Often shown to ex-servicemen — many still wearing their Tam O’Shanters — it’s clear that it speaks to many, all the while posing questions on the point of war in general, on this particular conflict and on the collective identity of the now disbanded Scottish regiment.
This is a show which will return to the city’s stages again and again — but whether it’s your first or 40th time seeing it, it’s bound to offer something new.
n Black Watch runs at the SECC March 28 – April 13. Tickets £27.50 – for performance times, visit www.ticketsoup.com or call 0844 395 4000.