For it's over the mountain, over the main
Through Gibraltar, tae France and tae Spain
Wi' a feather in your bonnet and a kilt aboon your knee
Sae list my bonnie laddie and come awa wi'me.
|Chris Starkie (Stewarty)|
Oh, there was a rumor we heard from Adam McNamara in November of 2011 when we were in London seeing Michael Sheen's Hamlet at the Young Vic. A rumor that a new tour was being proposed for the US. Vigorous Google searching revealed nothing. As it was, we had to practically wait until opening night to find out who was in the cast.
|Andrew Fraser (Fraz), Robert Jack (Sergeant)|
The plot jumps back and forth between the "present" in a pub in Scotland where six of the Black Watch soldiers are being interviewed about their experiences in Iraq by a writer who is interested in developing a piece for the theatre based on the interviews and the past in Iraq where there are eight soldiers and two officers. You do the math. Some people might not make it home. Much of what is said in the interviews relates to the following scene which takes place in Iraq. Scene transitions generally happen through song (using traditional songs of the Black Watch) or by the Officer's emails being read aloud by the Officer. So, say in the pub when they have a problem with the accent Rossco uses to portray native Iraqi citizens, Rossco suggests that anyone who has a problem with his accent is welcome to step outside for ten seconds to resolve the issue. In the next Iraq scene, there is a whole segment of well-choreographed "Ten Second Fights" (started by Kenzie and Nabsy).
|Scott Fletcher (Kenzie) and Cameron Barnes (Macca)|
|Gavin Jon Wright (Nabsy), Ryan Fletcher (Cammy), and Stephen McCole (Officer) in the "Fashion" scene.|
|Scott Fletcher (center as Kenzie)|
I love the music in it. I have a thing for bagpipes. I know that is weird. Or maybe not weird, just a developed taste. I'll blame that on the fact that my college had a pipe and drum band and I could hear their practice every week. It does grow on you, I guess. And this show has the fabulous talent of award-winning bagpiper Cameron Barnes (who is also super nice) who plays two songs live on bagpipes. Besides that, we also get lovely regimental songs that have been stuck in my head the past few weeks. Actually, I had to go download not as awesome recordings of the songs because I kept singing them. They are on my ipod now.
|My new favorite bagpiper (not that I have an old favorite)! Cameron Barnes (Macca) and myself.|
It also doesn't help that the cast is so impossibly nice. After the first tour came round, I hunted up a copy of the script with photos of that cast in it. I brought it to the show last Friday night and waited at the stage door to try to get them to sign it (yes, I'm a dork, shut up). But, really. So nice! They all were quite happy to sign it for me and even stopped to chat a bit. So, there, I'll blame them. Their offstage awesomeness sealed the deal to make this one of the best shows I've seen all year.
A couple of years ago, I did a mini-review of the Black Watch script by Gregory Burke for one of my 48-hour reading challenge books. Though it was basically me stating that the actual show is so much more than the script. So, by all means, read the script. Even if lines are changed or ad libbed. But also do yourself a favour and see the show if you get the chance. Please. It's playing Chicago next followed by South Korea and finally Seattle and San Francisco in the spring.
|Just because my friend sent this to me. There are only two uses of kilts in the show so don't get your hopes up too high on that account. ;)|