A story of determination and imagination - An American doctor, an Irish journalist and a British academic are taken hostage and held by unseen captors in the Middle East. With no one else to turn to, the need to stay alive and sane overcomes their initial divisions and prejudices. In their battle to keep their spirits from faltering, their chief weapon becomes their imaginations, balancing the grim reality of the situation with moments of beauty, fantasy and poignancy. As victims of political action, powerless to initiate change, what can they do? How do they live and survive? Inspired by the true account of Brian Keenan.
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me - Original London West End Production 1992
Previewed 4 July 1992, Opened 10 July 1992, Closed 22 August 1992 at Hampstead Theatre
Previewed 8 September 1992, Opened 9 September 1992, Closed 24 October 1992 at the Vaudeville Theatre
A transfer from the Hampstead Theatre. The original West End cast at the Vaudeville Theatre featured Stephen Rea as 'Edward', Alec McCowen as 'Michael' and James McDaniel as 'Adam'. The original cast at London's Hampstead Theatre featured Stephen Rea as 'Edward', Alec McCowen as 'Michael' and Hugh Quarshie as 'Adam'. Directed by Robin Lefevre with designs by Robin Don.
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me - 1st West End Revival 2005
Previewed 13 April 2005, Opened 19 April 2005, Closed 18 June 2005 at the Ambassadors Theatre in London
A major revival of Frank McGuinness's 1992 play Someone Who'll Watch Over Me in London starring Jonny Lee Miller, Aidan Gillen and David Threlfall.
The cast for Someone Who'll Watch Over Me in London features Jonny Lee Miller as 'Adam' the American doctor, Aidan Gillen as 'Edward' the Irish journalist and David Threlfall as 'Michael' the British academic. It is directed by Dominic Dromgoole with designs by Anthony Lamble, lighting by Paul Anderson and sound by Fergus O'Hare. Dominic Dromgoole's London theatre credits include Snake In The Grass (Old Vic Theatre 1997).
"Unless you have particularly exotic tastes, watching three men chained to radiators all evening doesn't sound like a thrill-packed night out. Fortunately, Dominic Dromgoole's revival of Frank McGuinness's 1992 play Someone Who'll Watch Over Me quickly destroys that misapprehension. It is an unfettered exploration of the human spirit as it endures in the least promising circumstances... The performances are as warm-blooded as the writing: gentle, tender, full of love and anger." The Sunday Times
"Dominic Dromgoole's intense production couldn't boast finer performances: Jonny Lee Miller has an almost saintly quality of innocence and incorruptibility... Aiden Gillen is a gutsy, garrulous Irishman... Best of all is David Threlfall as the widowed, plummy, precious Englishman... With nowhere to hide and tortured by boredom and the terror of imminent death, this sharply contrasting trio try to kill time. They play games, shoot imaginary movies, 'write' letters to loved ones out loud, talk about their fathers, mothers and wives, bicker horribly and reveal themselves not only to one another but to themselves. They begin the play as stereotypes - they end it as fully rounded individuals we know and love for their weaknesses and their strengths." The Mail on Sunday
"Not a lot happens here, and there is no doubt that the new cast, Aidan Gillen, Jonny Lee Miller and David Threlfall, lack some of the charismatic intensity of the original players. But Dominic Dromgoole's is still an intensely powerful production, unafraid to go into close-up on each of the men as their captivity triggers some event; some memory, long buried in their everyday lives. What I think McGuinness wants us to know is the way that involuntary captivity intensifies the experience of living. These men are trapped not just by their captors but also by their own lives. This is a play about the survival of the human spirit under pressure but it is also, and more importantly, about what that pressure does to the human spirit, for better and for worse." The Daily Express
"Someone Who'll Watch Over Me is set in a cell in Lebanon, where three men are being held hostage, each chained to the wall: Adam, Edward and Michael. Order them backwards, and they're the setup for a joke: an Englishman, an Irishman and an American - and there are funny moments, most supplied by Threlfall, who gives a comedian's performance as the twitchy academic, Michael... Frank McGuinness's play illustrates, but doesn't illuminate, the mens plight: you're thoroughly sympathetic and engaged, but I'm not sure to what end - other than to show how much we all need human comfort, which is undeniable, and perhaps does need reinforcing in these Guantanamo days." The Sunday Telegraph
Someone Who'll Watch Over Me in London at the Ambassadors Theatre previewed from 13 April 2005, opened on 19 April 2005 and closed on 18 June 2005.