Saturday, June 14, 2008

Go and see "Black Watch".

I've just returned from seeing "Black Watch," the National Theatre of Scotland play about a Scottish regiment serving in Iraq that's here thanks to Luminato.  And all I can say is, anyone who is in Toronto tomorrow, Sunday June 15, and who hasn't already seen it, should go.  

It's nearly two solid hours, without intermission, of what theatre is all about - brilliant cast, script, production, whirling into such a powerful finale that I could hardly breathe.  All I could see was my 23-year old son in uniform, off to serve his country in a terrifying and meaningless war.  The play is, more than anything, about young men and testosterone, which have been manipulated for centuries to serve political ends.  Young men who want to prove themselves, to bond with each other, to just do a good job.  

And the irony is, as the play points out, the enemy is made up of those young men, too.  Only theirs are willing to commit suicide to find honour, making them a kind of enemy our side has never fought before.

Again, it's documentary theatre - there are scenes of a writer asking questions of the soldiers at home afterwards, to turn their answers into a play.  And the play that was created out of those stories does what all the best theatre does - wakes us up and makes us think and feel, glad to be alive.   

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