Posts Tagged ‘John Tiffany’

Black Watch and the End of Modern Warfare

November 22, 2008

I’d read the reviews; I knew Black Watch, the hit National Theater of Scotland production now in its second run at St. Ann’s Warehouse, is about serving in Iraq, that it was developed using the actual stories of real soldiers and that it’s a bravura ensemble production. What I didn’t understand until I saw it is that it’s the story of the fabled, almost-three-centuries-old Black Watch Regiment that, in 2006, was “amalgamated” with 5 other Scottish regiments—and that this marked more than the end of a “great tradition”. At the very end of the play, when a disaffected soldier tells his officer why he’s not staying on in the army, I realized that the end of this regiment, which served as a mercenary force all over the world and fought in both world wars, coincides with the end of the whole concept of professional soldiering on which modern warfare has depended. Read on