John Tiffany’s direction remains utterly dazzling, even after repeated viewings, introducing a group of young soldiers in a Fife pub before hurling them in and out of Iraq’s war zones, then flashing back through the entire history of their regiment. From the testosterone-fuelled banter at home to the sequence at Camp Dogwood, where the troops read letters from home, there isn’t a dull or redundant moment.
The Herald * * * * *
Like the Iraq War itself, the National Theatre of Scotland's award-winning army drama is never quite as straightforward as it seems. . .
Beg, steal or borrow to get yourself a ticket.
The News of the World * * * * *
So it returns, the production that, if the whole thing was disbanded tomorrow, would ensure the National Theatre of Scotland's place not just in the history of Scottish theatre but theatre everywhere.
The ingredients were always promising: the timeless theme of young men going to war, the context of the second Iraq war, the specifics of the notorious Camp Dogwood deployment just as the Black Watch learnt that it was to me amalgamated, and the golden thread of a regimental history that touches more of Scotland than you might suppose. . .
It's all there and the packed audience in Glasgow rose to its feet at the end, as they did at that thrilling first night in Edinburgh four years ago.
The Times * * * *
A show of astonishing power. . . a tragic, hilarious, lyrical and unforgettable snapshot of the views and attitudes of ordinary soldiers caught in the turning-point for the whole British army, for Western policy in the Middle East, and for global politics. Small wonder that this play has resonated across the planet. . .
The Scotsman * * * *
The precision and passion of the new ensemble in John Tiffany’s staging is remarkable, while the raw emotion of the piece, with a script by Gregory Burke and stirring music by Davey Anderson, proves deeply affecting.
The theatre of war may now have moved on to Afghanistan, but the play forcefully reminds us of the enduring courage and sacrifice of British troops.
The Telegraph * * * *