The seventh production produced by veteran New Theatre Director, Anthony Lau, “Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me” is an engrossing play about the bond formed between kidnapped captives in Lebanon. Having transformed the theatre entirely, Lau has created an intimacy between performer and spectator as the audience, seated around the action, act as the walls of the wretched characters’ prison cell.
“Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me” follows the imprisonment of three very different men, an Englishman, an Irishman and an American, with no explanation of why they have been kidnapped, who is holding them captive or for how long. With the sole location being the bare cell, a great deal of talent was required from the actors (Will Vickers, Jonny Steer and Tom Warren) to express the considerable range of emotions expressed by their characters. They did not fail to deliver. Able to change the mood of a scene in a heartbeat, the actors had the audience laughing at one moment and deadly silent at the next.
The performers’ ability to transform their setting into, among other locations, a tennis court, a parent’s graveside, and even a flying car was another remarkable aspect of the piece, allowing us an insight into the past lives of the captives, their memories and their regrets. An undertone of hostility, in particular between the Irishman, Edward, and Englishman, Michael, creates a tension compounded by the stress of the situation and increasingly unstable mental states of the captives. However, the piece has genuinely touching moments, too, as the characters learn something of each others’ humanity, and their own.
A very well delivered exploration of the human condition at it’s most raw, “Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me”, though quite a lengthy play, is most certainly worth watching. You are advised to book quickly as the performance is set to be (deservedly) very popular!