Shindig Theatre Company’s adaptation of Frank McGuiness’s play is inspired by actual events in a Lebanese jail. The Tony Award-nominated play, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me explores the difficult relationships between an Irishman, an American and an Englishman taken hostage in Lebanon during the early 1990’s. The three hostages have nowhere to hide and have only each other to turn to. The three ultimately find support in each other and depend on this support to survive.
I sat among a group of young people at the production on Friday night at Derry’s Waterside Theatre. We were strangers at the beginning of the night, and acquaintances by the end! During the interval, we all talked and discussed the first half of the drama. I was fortunate to be familiar with the play but the young man next to me was not. He was in his first year of teaching English and Drama and told me he had never heard of this play. But he was most impressed and looking forward to the second half.
At times we were all smiling inwardly; at others we were laughing out loud; and at others, we were silenced with sadness. Such was the emotions running throughout this work. It was sometimes hilarious, often moving, always compelling!
The stage setting was rather barren. This showed just how difficult it was to survive in these harsh conditions. I
This play showed the strive for survival against personal and national differences among the men. THe outside world and it’s politics have no real place in the hostages environment. Dialogue is at times absurd, but always intriguing! The three men are caught between rational thinking and insanity! At all times the characters are however focused on their survival.
Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me is clearly inspired by events surrounding Brian Keenan’s abduction and it brings home the reality of how alienated and isolated the hostages were. It shows how they depended on each other. And it celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.