Faslane

Jenna Watt

Jenna Watt in association with Showroom & Contact

Summerhall

From 03 August 2016 to 28 August 2016

Rating: *****

Review by Keith Mckenna

Jenna Watt has created an extraordinary piece of documentary theatre in the play Faslane.

At one level, it simply puts together her interviews and research about nuclear weapons with an account of her personal connection with the issue.

However, its presentation is always engaging, impressively entertaining and often surprisingly funny. The changing tone of what Jenna says is underscored by a remarkably atmospheric soundscape designed by Kim Moore.

Members of Jenna’s family work at the Faslane Trident nuclear weapons base in Scotland. She speaks to them and also to people on both sides of the argument, from those in the Peace camp outside the base to supporters of Trident’s renewal.

The show opens with lowered lights, a disquieting buzzing sound and Jenna speaking the words of Einstein on the nuclear issue. Much of what she subsequently says is spoken in a measured conversational tone. However, at times the soundscape would become more urgent, faster and intense as Jenna would, microphone in hand, succinctly give an argument for nuclear weapons and then move to some other part of the audience to again succinctly give the counter argument.

Jenna’s investigations eventually lead her to a Stop Trident demonstration in London. She stands on the edge of the fountain in Trafalgar Square. What happens there carries a shock that few watching will easily be able to forget.

The play Faslane may not change your view about nuclear weapons but it will entertain you as it reminds us why the issue is so important