So it’s four o’clock in the morning and I just got back from the absolute best piece of theater I’ve ever seen in my life. Tonight was the penultimate night of the National Theatre of Scotland’s Black Watch at St. Ann’s in Brooklyn, and my date and I were amazed. Brilliant, far more physical than any other play I’ve seen, and an amazing combination of soldier humor, startling violence, and pathos. Parts of it were shocking, and parts of it made my eyes tear up a bit, and by the end, hearing that bagpipe-and-drum tattoo made something tighten in my chest. Reader, if you haven’t seen it, hope for an encore tour. See it, see it, see it.
Part of the reason it caught my attention was the intersection of matters military with my family’s Scottish heritage, which is a distant link, certainly (and one roundly mocked in the play), but there was also the memory of being very, very young and having the vinyl “Black Watch War Pipe and Plaid” as one of my parents’ albums that I loved the most, with — again — that bagpipe-and-drum tattoo. It stirs the blood.
And after the play ended, as snowy and cold as the Brooklyn weather was, I was lucky to have such an extraordinarily pretty woman on my arm. It was a good date.