Someone Who'll Watch Over Me | The New Theatre
Star Rating: 5 / 5
Review by: Una McMahon
Venue: The New Theatre
Written by: Frank McGuinness
Directed by: Niall O’Higgins
Cast: Conor Delaney, Art Kearns and Danny Kehoe.
An Irishman, an Englishman and an American are locked in a cell. It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but while Frank McGuinness’ Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me provides plenty laughs, it is essentially a tragedy. Set in Beirut during the hostage crisis of the 1980s, the play is dedicated to Brian Keenan, and focuses on themes of difference which are as valid today as they were 30 years ago.
The three men spend their captivity finding some kind of equilibrium, with each other and with themselves, staving off madness through games and fantasy. It is a study in waiting, with hints of Beckett, and the humour is as black as the prisoners’ windowless cell. The scene changes in the dark are accompanied by the clanking of the chains which bind the men to their individual pasts as well as to their shared present.
This cast is outstanding. Each character is damaged in his own way, and they cut both comic and tragic figures. Conor Delaney brings a sweetness to the pacifist Adam. Art Kearns’ Edward simmers with the frustration he can barely contain. Danny Kehoe’s flawless portrayal of Michael deserves special mention for his steely gentleness but great emotion. Niall O’Higgins directs with a light hand, letting the script dominate, but creates periodic moments of stillness which resemble religious tableaux.
This is a magnificent play, acted beautifully, reminding us that light can be found even in our darkest moments. The current production started out as a fundraising exercise for Focus Ireland, but has deservedly continued. It now can - and should - be seen by a much wider audience.
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me runs in the New Theatre until the 30th March at 7.30pm. Tickets: €12/15.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Thursday 21st March 2013 | Theatre
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