Set in the Spanish war,
The mystery of the strange girl’s identity, her motives and fate are engaging until the end
A solider enters, dramatically illuminated in the doorway. Arriving late at night, he disturbs the peace of the church, carrying an unconscious, ragged figure in his arms. His commanding officer confronts him and as the action slowly unravels the third person is revealed to be a girl, dressed as a boy and plainly on the run.
The Night Watch is a tense psychological play that focuses on an individual story about war to comment on the wider whole. The script is really good but the acting doesn’t quite measure up. Although adequately portraying the key facets of the characters and creating some compelling moments of heightened emotion, the actors are generally too staid and cautious in their movements to be truly believable. Often resorting to heavy sighs and shouting, much of the pathos of the dialogue is lost.
The costumes are also disappointing, slapdash and ill-matched with too many modern elements (e.g. trousers and shoes), so that they let down the inventiveness of the set and break the carefully constructed illusion of the past.
Despite these failings, the mystery of the strange girl’s identity, her motives and fate are engaging until the end. Can she trust the senior officer who has promised to protect her?