Like many her age, Jenna Watt would interpret the CND symbol as the peace sign and remembers it on the back of Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack dress at the 1997 Brits. In the lead up to the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the award-winning playwright realised she knew very little about the campaign for nuclear disarmament, or about Trident, which would have been banished if Scotland had voted Yes.
Despite her family working at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, in Faslane, she wasn’t sure where she stood on the issue; perhaps like many in the audience, she needed to hear more from both sides. Here it is, in a fitting lecture theatre, her one-woman debate, with the facts and research from both camps: her family and friends.
Watt isn’t trying to change your opinion; she isn’t forcing you to be for or against the renewal of the Trident nuclear base, her only aim is to get you thinking. It’s as if she is reading aloud her 10,000-word dissertation on the subject. She has become an expert, remembering so many dates and facts, as if she is being examined after the Fringe. She plays with all the thoughts in her head – because Trident doesn’t mean one thing, it means a lot simultaneously. For some it’s a job, allowing them to live and for others it’s a feature of safety; but for the activists at the peace camp, it’s danger on our doorstep.
We hear old and new voices, from Winston Churchill to Nicola Sturgeon and the private stories from her friends and family, who remain anonymous for their safety. Watt runs barefoot to and from each side of the stage as she provides evidence for both sides of the argument. She manages to remain neutral; she is chatty and friendly in her attempt to simplify this complex issue, until she finally makes a decision. We watch her personal journey, and hopefully think of our own. Faslane needs to be spoken about. Jenna Watt needs to be heard.