Alex Massie

Forget 42nd St, Rush to See the 42nd Highland Regiment

Forget 42nd St, Rush to See the 42nd Highland Regiment
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As someone who has, er, fond teenage memories of being barked at by NCOs from the Black Watch during hours of drill on the parade-ground and rather fonder recollections of cricket matches against the regiment, I've been looking forward for months to seeing Gregory Burke's prize-winning play about the regiment's experiences in Iraq during its current run in New York. Today's good news then is that - hurrah! - I snagged one of the two remaining tickets for the shows' final performance on, appropriately enough, Remembrance Sunday.

So it's really just a bonus that the New York reviews have been tremendous. Here's Ben Brantley in the NYT:

“Black Watch,” which was the hit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year and runs through Nov. 11, arrives like a blazing redeemer in the grayness of the current New York theater season, a cause for hope after a surfeit of microwaved revivals and ersatz musicals...

...In the final marching sequence, as the men moved forward and stumbled in shifting patterns, I found to my surprise that I was crying. For this was no anonymous military phalanx. It was an assembly of men who, while moving in synchronicity, were each and every one a distinctive blend of fears and ambitions and confusion.

They were every soldier; they were also irreducibly themselves. This exquisitely sustained double vision makes “Black Watch” one of the most richly human works of art to have emerged from this long-lived war.

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Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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