metro mama

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Go See Black Watch!

Update: Here's a great clip about the play:

McHotty and I had a lovely impromptu date night last night!

My mom’s in town, and told us to go out, but I hadn’t planned to since we’d just spent so much money on our trip, and I have a hell of a lot of Bronte to read. But McHotty called me at work yesterday desperate to go see Black Watch, which to be honest I knew nothing about. I asked him what it’s about, and when I heard the words “regiment” and “Iraq” I instantly dismissed it in my mind. But I agreed to go, because I’m always after McHotty to do more of the entertainment research, and Sunday is Father’s Day.

The play, by the National Theatre of Scotland, is part of Toronto’s fantastic Luminato Festival. Framed by an interview with a journalist in a pub in Scotland, soldiers of the famous Black Watch regiment recall their experience serving in the Iraq war.

The play is 1 hour and 50 minutes, with no intermission. It’s staged in the Varsity arena, and you sit on uncomfortable chairs, close to the action, and it’s hot and a little smelly. Fitting. The actors build and remove the sets as they perform, and intermingled with real footage from Iraq, television screens display the scenes on the stage, documentary style.

The performances were magnificent. The soldiers are gritty, raw, passionate, damaged, funny, vulnerable. The choreography blew me away, particularly during the show-stopping fight scene. I loved a scene where soldiers receive their letters from home and transmit their contents via sign language.

The play is also an interesting history lesson, and a provocative look at why soldiers go to war. The soldiers in this play are glorious. But there is no individual glory: the group of men take their bows at the end of play, together. Three times they pass around the stage, and I’m ready to cheer myself hoarse for the leads: but there are no individual bows. The men hold hands and bow to us, in unison.

After the play we went to my favourite restaurant in Toronto, the Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar. It’s so relaxed and fun there, the food is superb, and you can try lots of wines, for a really good price. We hadn’t been there in ages, and it was perfect, as usual.

After dinner we walked to the Distillery, which I was happy to see was hopping. We spotted a painting we both loved. My in-laws want to get me a piece of art for my graduation, so we are on the lookout. But as I expected, this piece was priced at about 6 times our budget. They offered to let us try it out for a week, and I must confess I was sorely tempted. Maybe next time I’m having a party…

Has anyone else taken in any Luminato this week?



Blogger crazymumma said...

okay. I cannot take your life anymore. travelling, a firefighter husband, plays, dinners, art, culture, dahling!

11:02 AM  
Blogger Ms. Porter said...

i agree with that amazing crazymumma. sounds like a perfect date. hey, what an amazing gift from your inlaws!!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Lisa b said...

I really wanted to see that. Great review!

10:16 PM  
Blogger nomotherearth said...

Oh, it sounds so good! I'd be happy just to be out for a night, though. Glad you had fun!

10:55 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I'm with CM, too - what a nice treat! Me, I'm taking in nothing but sleep, snot, and aggravation this week.

4:06 AM  

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