(John Williams Productions DVD retail)
There can be little doubt about the power of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch, an international hit for Scottish theatre unparalleled for a decade. Its story of a group of soldiers from the titular regiment on tour in Iraq, and the death of three of their number outside Camp Dogwood is an immensely moving and often humourous story, which, if it stops short of asking massive questions, demonstrates a human dimension within a mighty international event.
This filmed performance of the play loses of necessity some of John Tiffany’s production’s theatrical versatility – the physical theatre skills and use of music and song can only be fully appreciated in the room with the piece. Nevertheless, Gregory Burke’s witty and authentic dialogue still works well, and the sense of there being a major event unfolding here makes it a good buy for the collector. So too does the BBC documentary, incorporating the stories of several real members of the regiment and of Rose Gentle, who lost her son in a pointless war.