Sunday, March 30, 2008

"Black Watch" - March 2008

Black Watch was coming home - and to Fife the prime recruiting ground of the regiment. So we couldn't resist re-visiting the production, and headed up to Glenrothes for the day.

All we really want to say is that it's still bloody good. There are some minor cast changes from our Glasgow visit, most noteably for us the writer/sergeant (we'd really enjoyed Tom Smith's performance). When we saw it before Brian Ferguson was cast as Cammy, and Paul Rattray his understudy for that role. However that night, due to Ferguson being elsewhere, Rattray took the lead that night very successfully - and he now deservedly has the role in his own right. The piece is still as jawdropping, exhausting and emotional as ever. We probably did prefer Glasgow though, simply because of the added ambiance of the Old Fruitmarket which Rothes Halls just couldn't match.

Glenrothes has sold out (although there were definitely empty seats at the Saturday matinee). However it's off to the SECC for a week mid-April, before heading to England and in particular London, so if you haven't already seen it you have no excuse. This is probably its last time in Scotland and it really is a must see.

Even if you saw the TV film of the play it doesn't match up to seeing it live, as you're not immersed in the action. The one thing tht irritated me about the TV version was it was quite closely edited at various points so you didn't get the sense of the way the action shifts.

As the woman next to me said when I asked if she enjoyed it: 'I don't know that it's something you can say you enjoy, but I wouldn't have missed it'.

Photo by Pavel Antonov. Used with permission.

1 Heckle

Bluedog said...

Black Watch really is a phemonenon. I really can't remember any play which has had such incredible and ongoing impact. "The Ship" and "The Big Picnic" came close, but they had limited runs, and were site specific. Black Watch has been to the USA (LA and New York) and Australia, and as you say, is finally getting to London later this year.

And neither the radio version nor the TV version do it justice. You absolutely have to be there.

We battled up the A9 to Pitlochry in February last year, where a machine shed was used as the venue (park at the theatre and follow a forest path for a distance). Enjoyable - maybe not exactly, and possibly a slightly flawed piece, but groundbreaking and moving - certainly. A must see.