An Englishman, an Irishman and an American are locked up together in a cell in the Middle East As victims of political action, powerless to initiate change, what can they do How do they live and survive Frank McGuinness explores the daily crisis endured by hostages whose strength comes from communication, both subtle and mundane, from humour, wit and faith Someone Who ll Watch Over Me premiered at the Hampstead Theatre, London, inbefore transferring to the West End On Broadway, it was awarded the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play and nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play in A wonderful exploration of human nature How do we deal with isolation and loneliness With loss Hoe big are our imagines An Irishman, an Englishman and an American are chained to a wall of a cell in 1980s Lebanon Frank McGuinness was inspired by Brian Keenan s account of being kidnapped and held for four and a half years through the late 1980s I don t know Keenan s book An Evil Cradling , but I presume it was an inspiration for the play, not a source Someone Who ll Watch Over Me is not a political play, the events are not placed into any historical context The kidnappers are never seen and we don t know thei An Irishman, an Englishman and an American are chained to a wall of a cell in 1980s Lebanon Frank McGuinness was inspired by Brian Keenan s account of being kidnapped and held for four and a half years through the late 1980s I don t know Keenan s book An Evil Cradling , but I presume it was an inspiration for the play, not a source Someone Who ll Watch Over Me is not a political play, the events are not placed into any historical context The kidnappers are never seen and we don t know their motivations However, politics must haunt the play and it s open to wonder if we are shown First World victims of Third World brutality I presume this was not McGuinness s intention, but plays live their own lives What we are shown, over nine scenes, are the three characters trying to come to terms with their captivity, struggling against fear, discomfort, boredom Sometimes they resort to fantasy or fiction e.g., the drinking scene , but there are signs of mental decay under the pressure Edward, the Irishman, is the most dynamic of the characters, a cynical journalist, he seems to enjoy aggravating the others it s uncertain whether he does this through pique at the situation or whether he is trying to toughen the other s upor, at least, toughen up Michael, the Englishman, who arrives in the second scene baffled and disorientated And by the end there is a certain reversal, Michael now seem tougher and able to face the situation with a greater strength But I m not sure what the play s really doing but maybe it s a character study of characters caught in an extreme situation maybe that s all it needs to be doing Humour is one of their tactics to face the situationso, at times, it s an amusing play I m not convinced it doesn t make a horrendous experience somehow mundane A one room play with three characters has got to be one of the toughest types of plays to write On one hand, it simplifies the casting and the staging, but those aren t really the author s problem, anyway This play is even tougher, because the characters are all chained to the wall The action is therefore largely limited to what s going on intellectually and emotionally inside the characters heads I couldn t help but compare this play to Genet s DEATHWATCH and Sartre s NO EXIT Unfortunat A one room play with three characters has got to be one of the toughest types of plays to write On one hand, it simplifies the casting and the staging, but those aren t really the author s problem, anyway This play is even tougher, because the characters are all chained to the wall The action is therefore largely limited to what s going on intellectually and emotionally inside the characters heads I couldn t help but compare this play to Genet s DEATHWATCH and Sartre s NO EXIT Unfortunately, I this play doesn t really measure up A devastating 3 hander Three men in a cell in Beirut, trying to eep their sanity and their hope alive Just reading this was heart wrenching, I can only imagine what it is like to sit through a production of it