Review: 7 out of 10 stars.
Production Company: http://www.nationaltheatrescotland.com/content/default.asp?page=home_BlackWatch2012
Details by ACT who hosts the play: http://www.act-sf.org/1213/blackwatch/
History lesson : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Watch
Opening night in San Francisco.
Don’t expect cultural or historical war references as this is a play of visual stimulation, a different kind of dimension experience, lots of profanity in Scottish accent and a couple distracting photos and a snippet of a video.
This is not your usual 1 sided play where you sit on only 1 side of the stage. Instead, the audience is on both sides of the “stage”, from ground and to only 13 small steps of different seats. Very intimate, very loud, very grand. It’s more 3D than what you are used to as the actors roamed on both sides of the audience.
And because if you are on the lower level the actors are in the arm’s reach. Sitting on the third row it was almost intimidating when the soldiers carrying the AK pointing at the audience. There was so much going on not just on the floor, but high up on both sides of the “stage.” There is really no stage and the audience is just sitting at the edge of the court. The stage stretches both ends of the Drill court (another major difference from the usual play where the act is going on only in the middle of the stage.) It was like watching a tennis match that you dart left to right and back with the dialogue of multiple people going on.
It is a great play if you are looking for a different type of feel and not a history lesson (you can read it all through the booklet they hand out if that’s what you’re looking for.) It takes place in the legndary SF Armory. It’s interesting how the kink.com
has its concept sipped through the stage (pictures and video.) The all out pictures were of a bit of distracting and the video shown on the TV (part of the play) definitely have made the overall more matured and older audience feel a bit awkward. It has some shock value on its own but not the performance.
It’s even more odd on ACT’s website that while it laid out the history of the Armory but failed to disclose what it is today. What’s not to love a bit of sexual charge and honesty?!
Keywords: scottish, profanity, history, a.c.t., act, war