By Rachel Taylor
What is Scotland?
That is the primary question posed by Scottish Youth Theatre's original piece, "Now's The Hour". However, it is not as simple a question as it seems. It necessarily involves the following questions:
What is Scotland now?
What was Scotland? What has she been?
What do we want her to be - and how do we get her there?
This engaging, sharp and thoroughly witty show is achingly raw and entirely honest. This is a group of young people, many of whom will cast their very first vote in next year's referendum and all of whom are grappling with the above questions.
It is a rare gem in preparation for next year's vote, as it presents an utterly unbiased view. Rather than pushing an agenda, it explores with thoroughness many of the issues which are necessarily involved with the debate. No real indication is given of how the actors intend to vote, but the open truth of the issues is presented and the audience are left to reach their own conclusions.
From a performance point of view, the show stands in a league of its own, requiring a relatively small principal cast to act, sing, dance and accent-hop, manage a show which covers everything from dance and movement to rib-aching comedy to sombre and moving deep thought...and it’s all managed with great skill.
This should be required viewing for everyone in the country before next year.
If you didn't have the chance to see Now's The Hour, you can still catch it at the Festival of Politics on Saturday 24 August in the Scottish Parliament. http://goo.gl/HxWFb