Faslane

On the surface Jenna Watt’s new show Faslane sounds like it should be a simple comparison of the reasons for and against renewing the Trident nuclear base; it turns out to be just as tricky and knotty as its subject. The divisive nature of Trident means that any piece that tackles it is sure to be equally controversial, yet Watt manages to debate with herself and others with remarkable objectivity and clarity, providing a running list of references and redactions so as to protect her family, friends and complete strangers who live, work and protest at the base.

Faslane means many different things simultaneously without having to be contradictory

It’s not an outwardly emotional performance as Watt remains firmly in control of herself throughout the show, rarely letting us in to see any anger or confusion. Instead she distances herself from the issue, making sure to outline which opinion belongs to which specific person and reciting these memories and conversations as if she were a fly on the wall rather than an active participant. Admittedly it’s somewhat difficult to get used to but the audience quickly settles into it, leaving them more able to approach the issues with greater objectivity.

Watt is also notably skilled in blending personal and political narratives and perspectives; thanks to these interviews mixed in with soundscapes of political debates we can understand that Faslane means many different things simultaneously without having to be contradictory. Yes, for some it is home, it’s their job, a completely necessary defence and insurance but we can also understand that to others it’s an unnecessary evil, a weapon of mass destruction that allows us to bully other countries. When presented with the myriad of perspectives and facts and stories it’s easy to understand why Watt has been so torn in declaring her support and opposition to Trident and it could be argued that by being stuck in the middle she’s actually paved the way to a much more fruitful and interesting discussion.

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde, or Faslane, situated 40 miles outside Glasgow, is home to the UK's nuclear missile program: Trident. With family having worked in Faslane all her life, and with friends protesting at the gates, Fringe First-winner Jenna Watt explores what happens when the personal and political collide. Drawing upon interviews with individuals at the front line of the nuclear debate, Jenna navigates her own journey through the politics, protests and peace camps. ‘One of the most inspiring pieces of live performance art you will ever have the pleasure of experiencing’ ***** (Skinny on Flâneurs).

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