The first time I saw the Shakespeare Theatre Company presentation of Black Watch two years ago I was emotionally and physically drained by the end of the no-intermission, intimate, dramatic intense show.Â Yet, I never wanted it to end.Â Yet, I couldn’t wait to yell from the top of the Harman Center that everyone needed to see this production. Yet, I didn’t want to stop talking about it with my friend who was also of the same sentiment.Â Recently, when I told him that Black Watch was returning to the Harman Center and that I was taking my boyfriend Jason, who had never seen the show, he said, “Good, that was such an awesome show.”Â I tried to explain to Jason in advance what to expect, how he must be prepared for the consistent use of blatant profanity (one particular word that carries one meaning in America and another in Scotland is used again and again and again until you literally have no problem with it and in fact, want to use it yourself daily), numerous explosives, and true nail-biting intensity.
Unfortunately, I had the start of the show down at 8pm (originally was supposed to go Saturday, and the Tuesday show started at 7:30pm) and we walked into the lobby-empty, mind you- at 7:45pm thinking we were early and tahdah. There is no late seating and for good reason.Â So, we were luckily escorted to the theatre and allowed to sit at the very top.Â The problem with this is Black Watch is made for a very intimate audience, including VIP seats on the stage. The necessity of this close proximity is that, in my opinion, you are literally a part of the play, you can see the sweat on the actors’ faces, the raw expression, the wild emotions, the spit that flows freely.Â So, to see it from afar didn’t provide the same experience, and for that, I was sorry that Jason didn’t get to understand it as one should.
Black Watch is not for the fair and blushing, as it tells the story of the Scottish regiment through the voices of several soldiers who were a part of the war on terror.Â Based on interviews conducted by Gregory Burke with former soldiers who served in Iraq, Black Watch, which has an all male cast, reveals what it means to be part of the legendary Scottish regiment and what it means to make the journey home again.
My favorite part is the scene where the main character tells the history of the Black Watch via on stage costume changes with the help of his cast mates. It’s very physical and the timing has to be perfect, and he never waivers with his voice projection and inflection.Â It’s pretty unbelievable.
It is more than a Punch Pick. We don’t want you to miss it.
September 19-October 7, 2012, at Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW).
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.